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DS News Webcast: Thursday 1/23/2014

Year-end numbers tallying distressed home sales in 2013 were released by RealtyTrac this morning. The data indicates short sales and foreclosure-related sales—which includes sales to third-party buyers at foreclosure auction and sales of REOs—accounted for a combined 16.2% of all U.S. residential sales last year. It may surprise some to know that's up slightly from both the previous two years.

More than 256,000 short sales were completed in 2013 and while the short sale percentage was up from 2012, it slipped slightly compared to 2011. REO sales totaled more than 436,000 last year, with that share up from both the previous two years. Properties sold to third parties at foreclosure auction also rose, as did all-cash purchases, which ended the year at 29.1% of all U.S. residential sales after trending higher in the second half of the year.

We reported yesterday that sales of mortgage servicing rights were on the rise, with two portfolios for Fannie Mae and Ginnie Mae loans currently up for bid. Wells Fargo later announced that it has a buyer for 2% of its total residential servicing portfolio. The bank says it is selling MSRs to $39 billion in loans to Ocwen's servicing arm. The deal is expected to close by the end of this year.

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