Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Survey: Sales of Distressed Homes increased in January

by Bill McBride on 2/22/2011 08:22:00 AM

From Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse: HousingPulse Distressed Property Index Hits 49.6% in January

Perhaps the biggest news in the January data was a sharp rise in the HousingPulse Distressed Property Index or DPI, a key indicator of the health of the housing market. The DPI, or share of total transactions involving distressed properties, climbed from 47.2% in December to 49.6% in January. The increase was a continuation of a trend as the DPI registered just 44.5% back in November.
Already, in the key state of California, distressed property transactions account for 66% of the market. In Florida, distressed property transactions account for 63% of the market. And in the combined area of Arizona and Nevada, distressed property transactions are a stunning 72% of home sales.
The increase in distressed properties, combined with a reduction in first-time homebuyers, is causing downward pricing pressure to build in the market, especially for the categories of damaged REO and move-in ready REO.
This fits with other recent reports suggesting the percent of distressed sales was very high in January. The Case-Shiller house price data, to be released this morning, will be for last year (October, November and December) - and this survey suggests the repeat transaction house price indexes will show further weakness in 2011.