Distressed home sales in the United States dropped 1% in September, compared with August, and 19% compared with September 2013, according to data released Tuesday by RealtyTrac. Short sales and foreclosure sales account for 13% of all third-quarter sales, the lowest total since the first quarter of 2011. Las Vegas posted the highest proportion of short and distressed sales in the quarter. Distressed sales include sales of a property in the foreclosure process or bank-owned when the sale is recorded.
The metro areas with high proportions of short sales (price is lower that total mortgage amount due) include Las Vegas (10.5%); Lakeland, Fla. (10.4%); Cape Coral, Fla. (10.4%); Orlando (10.0%); and Tampa (9.7%). Short sales accounted for 3.8% of all sales in the third quarter.
Sales of bank-owned properties accounted for 7.8% of all home sales in the third quarter. Metropolitan areas with the highest percentage of bank-owned sales were Stockton, Calif. (26.1%); Modesto, Calif. (25.2%); Las Vegas (23.2%); Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif. (19.7%); and Bakersfield, Calif. (18.5%).
Adding short sales and distressed sales together, Las Vegas (34.9%) is the metro area with the highest percentage, followed by Stockton (31.8%), Modesto (31.2%), Lakeland (26.1%) and Jacksonville, Fla. (26.1%).
RealtyTrac also released data on the largest year-over-year September increases in median home prices. House prices rose the most in Detroit (35%), Austin (28%), Cincinnati (27%), Cleveland (25%) and Stockton (21%). Median home prices increased by less than 10% year-over-year in 59 of the 102 metro areas tracked by RealtyTrac. Los Angeles, Denver, Phoenix, San Diego and Portland all fell into that group.
A RealtyTrac executive said:
Median home prices nationally in September were boosted by a new low in the share of distressed sales during the third quarter, resulting in fewer home sales on the lower end. The share of homes selling above $200,000 is up 7 percent from a year ago, and the share of homes selling above $500,000 is up 15 percent from a year ago.
The median price of a distressed property in September was $130,000 nationwide, 37% below the non-distressed median of $205,000.