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Low REO Inventory Reduces Market Share of Cash Sales

Rates BHWith less REO properties available for investors, declines in REO sales triggered a further decline for national cash sales. Not all states experienced the same level of decline though, according to the latest Cash Sales and Distressed Sales Data Report from CoreLogic.

Cash sales accounted for 29.7 percent of total home sales in July 2016, down 1.9 percentage points year over year from July 2015. Prior to the housing crisis, the cash sales share of total home sales averaged approximately 25 percent. CoreLogic reports that if the cash sales share continues to fall at the same rate it did in July 2016, the share should hit 25 percent by mid-2018.

REO sales, no surprise, had the largest cash sales share in July 2016 at 57.6 percent. Following behind, resales had the next highest cash sales share at 29.4 percent with short sales close behind at 28.1 percent and newly constructed homes at 15 percent.

While the percentage of REO sales within the all-cash category remained high, REO transactions have been in decline since peaking in January 2011. REO sales made up 4.3 percent of the distressed sales share of total home sales while short sales made up 2.9 percent in July 2016.

Most notably, CoreLogic reported that the distressed sales share of 7.2 percent in July 2016 was the lowest distressed sales share since September 2007. As with cash sales, the pre-crisis share of distressed sales was traditionally significantly than that of the post-crisis share. If the current year-over-year decrease in the distressed sales share continues, it will reach that "normal" 2-percent mark in mid-2018.

Eight states did record higher distressed sales shares in July 2016 compared with a year earlier, though. Maryland had the largest share of distressed sales of any state at 19.4 percent, followed by Connecticut at 18.6 percent, Michigan at 17.8 percent, New Jersey at 15.6 percent, and Illinois at 15.5 percent. North Dakota had the smallest distressed sales share at 2.5 percent.

While some states stand out as having high distressed sales shares, only North Dakota and the District of Columbia are close to their pre-crisis levels, says CoreLogic, each within one percentage point.

On the cash sales side, New York had the largest share of any state at 44.6 percent, followed by Alabama at 43.6 percent, Florida at 39.6 percent, New Jersey at 37.3 percent, and finally Indiana at 37 percent.

About Author: Kendall Baer

Kendall Baer is a Baylor University graduate with a degree in news editorial journalism and a minor in marketing. She is fluent in both English and Italian, and studied abroad in Florence, Italy. Apart from her work as a journalist, she has also managed professional associations such as Association of Corporate Counsel, Commercial Real Estate Women, American Immigration Lawyers Association, and Project Management Institute for Association Management Consultants in Houston, Texas. Born and raised in Texas, Baer now works as the online editor for DS News.
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