The share of distressed home sales that comprise all residential home sales in the United States continued its steady decline in August and is less than three years away from reaching its historical “normal” level, according to data released by CoreLogic on Wednesday. The distressed sales share, which includes sales of REO properties and short sales, was reported to be 9 point 3 percent for August 2015, down 2 point 3 percentage points from August 2014.
August’s distressed sales share of 9 point 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. Within the distressed sales category, 6 percent were REO properties and 3 point 3 percent were short sales. During the peak for distressed sales in January 2009, the REO properties made up 27 point 9 percent of all home sales. The share of short sales fell below 4 percent in mid-2014 and has stayed around the 3 to 4 percent range since.
Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen testified before the House Financial Services Committee Wednesday morning to discuss supervision and regulation among U.S. financial institutions, but the looming interest rate hike was the subject no one could resist touching on. Yellen noted that employment and income are up, saying that a December increase for short term interest rates could happen if the labor market sees enough improvement.