Short sales and sales of distressed properties (those that are in foreclosure or bank-owned) accounted for 12.7 percent of all residential home sales in the U.S. in the third quarter, their lowest level since Q1 2011, according to RealtyTrac 's Q3 2014 Residential Sales Report  released today. The report marks the latest in a series of encouraging signs suggesting that the housing industry is continuing its steady climb towards a full recovery.
The percentage of short sales and distressed sales was down from 14.2 percent from Q2 and down from 14.5 percent in Q3 2013. At 12.7 percent of all residential home sales, the percentage of short sales and distressed sales is at its lowest point since RealtyTrac began tracking the data in the first quarter of 2011.
The U.S. metropolitan areas with the largest percentage of combined short sales and distressed sales were Las Vegas (34.9 percent); Stockton, California (31.8 percent); Modesto, California (31.2 percent); Lakeland, Florida (26.1 percent), and Jacksonville, Florida (26.1 percent).
Short sales, which are sales for less than the amount the home's owner currently owes on the mortgage, accounted for 3.8 percent of all residential home sales in the U.S. in Q3. This marked a decline from 4.2 percent of all sales in Q2 and from 4.7 percent of all sales in the third quarter of 2013. The five metro areas with the highest percentage of short sales in Q3 were Las Vegas (10.5 percent; Lakeland, Florida (10.4 percent); Cape Coral, Florida (10.4 percent); Orlando, Florida (10 percent); and Tampa, Florida (9.7 percent).
Meanwhile, the sales of bank-owned properties (REO) also declined quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year in Q3. REO sales totaled 7.8 percent for Q3, a decline from 8.8 percent from Q2 and from 9 percent in the third quarter of 2013. Metro areas with the highest percentage of REO sales were Stockton, California (26.1 percent; Modesto, California (25.2 percent); Las Vegas (23.2 percent); Riverside-San Bernardino, California (19.7 percent); and Bakersfield, California (18.5 percent).
Foreclosure auction sales made up 1.1 percent of all residential home sales in the U.S. in Q3, which marked a slight decline from 1.2 percent from Q2 but a slight increase from 0.9 percent in Q3 2013. The five U.S. metro areas with the highest percentage of residential home sales from foreclosure auctions were all located in Florida: Lakeland (4.9 percent); Miami (3.9 percent); Orlando (3.7 percent); Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville (3.5 percent) and Tampa (3.4 percent).