The August median price of U.S. distressed homes climbed both monthly and annually, according to RealtyTrac's August 2014 U.S. Residential and Foreclosure Sales Report released on Sept. 25.
Distressed properties, which are homes that are either in foreclosure or owned by banks, saw their average sale price jump up to $129,000 for August, which is an increase of 2 percent from July and 15 percent from August 2013, RealtyTrac reported. That price, despite the monthly and annual increases, is still 37 percent below the national median price of a non-distressed home, which was reported at $205,000.
Meanwhile, the number of combined short sales (defined as sales of residential properties where the sale price is below the combined total of outstanding mortgages secured by the property) and distressed sales made up 13.5 percent of all sales of residential properties in the U.S. in August, a number that increased by 10 percent from July but dropped 14.3 percent from August a year ago, according to RealtyTrac. The markets where short sales and distressed sales made up the highest percentage of residential sales were Modesto, California (36.1 percent), Lakeland, Florida (35.9), Stockton, California (33.4), Las Vegas (33.2), and Orlando (29.3).
"Nationwide, both short sales and distressed sales of homes in foreclosure or bank-owned are continuing to trend lower compared to a year ago, but there are some markets bucking that downward trend," RealtyTrac VP Daren Blomquist said. "These markets fall into one of two categories: markets with a recent rebound in foreclosure starts or scheduled auctions — typically in judicial foreclosure states where foreclosure activity has been held back by logjams in the courts; and markets that have largely cleared out the pipeline of homes in foreclosure, but where some lingering, stubborn foreclosure activity is now being cleared out and listed for sale by the banks."
Blomquist said some of the markets where foreclosure activity is stalled by the courts include Toledo, Ohio (short sale share up 79 percent from a year ago); New York metro area (short sale share up 28 percent from a year ago); Chicago (short sale share up 25 percent from a year ago); Cleveland, Ohio (short sale share up 25 percent from a year ago); Greensboro, North Carolina (short sale share up 24 percent from a year ago); and Portland, Oregon, (short sale share up 23 percent from a year ago). He added that some of the markets in which foreclosure activity has largely cleared out include San Jose, California, (REO sale share up 15 percent from a year ago); Phoenix (REO sale share up 14 percent from a year ago); San Francisco, (REO sale share up 11 percent from a year ago), Modesto, California, (REO sales share up 8 percent from a year ago); and Seattle (REO sales share up 5 percent from a year ago).
The percentage of all residential sales that were short sales (4.6 percent), bank-owned (REO) sales (7.8 percent), and foreclosure auction sales (1.0 percent) all declined year-over-year in August, according to RealtyTrac.