Distressed home sales accounted for 13.5 percent of all home sales nationwide in February 2015, which represented a decline of 3 percentage points from February 2014, according to CoreLogic's February 2015 Distressed Sales data released Tuesday. February 2015's distressed sales share was the lowest reported for any February since 2008, right at the beginning of the financial crisis. REO sales had the largest share of sales within the distressed category with 9.7 percent, and short sales made up 3.8 percent.
The state with the largest distressed sales share in February 2015 was Michigan with 22.6 percent, followed by Florida, Illinois, Maryland, and Connecticut. Despite the steady decline of distressed sales share, only two states, North Dakota and Hawaii, plus the District of Columbia, posted a share in February 2015 that was within one point of their pre-crisis distressed sales share level. At their peak in January 2009, distressed sales accounted for 32.4 percent of all home sales nationwide, with REO sales comprising 28 percent of distressed sales during that month.
The nation's homeownership rate dropped to 63.7 percent in Q1, more than a full percentage point below the average rate throughout the 1990s of 64.9 percent, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Tuesday. Q1's homeownership rate represented a decline of 1.1 percentage points from the same quarter in 2014 and 0.3 percentage points from Q4 2014. The homeowner housing vacancy rate for Q1 was reported at 1 point 9 percent, which was a year-over-year decline of only 0.1 percentage points and virtually the same as the rate reported for Q4.