RealtyTrac's Residential and Foreclosure Sales Report for February found that U.S. residential properties slid point-2 percent from January, but remain up 7 percent from the same time period a year ago. Distressed sales and short sales made up 16.9 percent of all U.S. sales in February, up from 16.1 percent in January. However, distressed sales and short sales are down from February, 2013, where they made up 19.1 percent of total sales.
In addition to a dwindling of supply of distressed properties over the year, investor purchases are also slowing. Institutional investors made up 5.9 percent of all U.S. residential property sales, up from 5 percent in January, yet down from the February, 2013 figure of 7.2 percent. Institutional investor sales in February declined for the third consecutive month on a year-to-year basis after 19 consecutive months of year-over-year increases.
Data released by S&P Dow Jones Indices and Experian found that the national composite rate for credit defaults was 1.3 percent in February, down from 1.34 percent in January. Across all categories—first mortgage, second mortgage, bank car, and auto loans—credit default rates improved. Credit default rates on first mortgages, reported as 1.26 percent in January, fell to 1.23 percent for the month of February. Year-over-year, rates are down from the February, 2014, rate of 1.48 percent.