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REO

Score One Victory for U.S. Bank

Banks and other financial institutions have agreed to many multimillion and even multibillion dollar settlements following the financial crisis for their mortgage practices. This week, however, HUD ruled in favor of U.S. Bank in a complaint that alleged racial discrimination in REO property maintenance.

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Why Are Discounted Distressed Sales Not Pulling Down Non-Distressed Home Prices?

When distressed properties account for a large share of all residential home sales, it tends to pull down the prices of non-distressed homes, since foreclosed and REO properties typically sell at a discount to non-distressed homes. Data released by CoreLogic shows that as of late, however, the still-high distressed sales share is not causing non-distressed prices to fall.

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Shrinking REO Inventory Drives Down Cash Sales Share

At their peak in January 2011, cash sales accounted for nearly half of all residential home sales in the United States (46.5 percent). Since then, that percentage has steadily declined; in August 2015, it was reported at 31.7 percent, less than one-third of all home sales—a decline of more than 3 percentage points from August 2014, when it was 34.9 percent.

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Distressed Sales Continue Descent Toward Historical Norms

The distressed sales share, which includes sales of REO properties and short sales, was reported to be 9.3 percent for August 2015, down 2.3 percentage points from August 2014. August’s distressed sales share of 9.3 percent is the lowest since September 2007 and is less than a third off from its peak in January 2009, when it made up nearly a third of total residential home sales (32.4 percent).

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