Thursday, February 12, 2009

NAR: Distressed Sales Accounted for 45% of Q4 Activity

by Bill McBride on 2/12/2009 10:44:00 AM

From the National Association of Realtors (NAR): 4th Quarter Metro Area Home Prices Down as Buyers Purchase Distressed Property

Distressed sales – foreclosures and short sales – accounted for 45 percent of transactions in the fourth quarter, dragging down the national median existing single-family price to $180,100, which is 12.4 percent below the fourth quarter of 2007 when conditions were more balanced; the median is where half sold for more and half sold for less.
Median home prices are a poor measure of house price changes, especially right now since the mix of homes has shifted significantly to the low end. Repeat sales indexes are better measures of price changes.
The largest sales gain in the fourth quarter from a year earlier was in Nevada, up 133.7 percent, followed by California which rose 84.7 percent, Arizona, up 42.6 percent, and Florida with a 12.5 percent increase.

“Once again, we see a pattern of strong sales gains, particularly in lower price homes, in areas with price declines resulting from foreclosures,” Yun said. “... in California and Florida ... distressed sales accounted for roughly two-third of all sales ...”
Distressed sales are the market in many areas of California, Florida, Nevada and other bubble states.