Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Lawler: Table of Short Sales and Foreclosures for Selected Cities in January

by Bill McBride on 2/12/2013 03:40:00 PM

Economist Tom Lawler sent me the table below of short sales and foreclosures for several selected cities in January. 

Look at the right two columns in the table below (Total "Distressed" Share for Jan 2013 compared to Jan 2012). In every area that reports distressed sales, the share of distressed sales is down year-over-year - and down significantly in most areas. 

Also there has been a decline in foreclosure sales just about everywhere. Look at the middle two columns comparing foreclosure sales for Jan 2013 to Jan 2012. Foreclosure sales have declined in all these areas, and some of the declines have been stunning (the Nevada sales were impacted by a new foreclosure law). 

Also there has been a shift from foreclosures to short sales. In most areas, short sales now out number foreclosures (Minneapolis is an exception).

I think this is important: Imagine that the number of total existing home sales doesn't change over the next year - some people would argue that is "bad" news and the housing market isn't recovering. But also imagine that the share of distressed sales declines 20%, and conventional sales increase to make up the difference. That would be a positive sign - and that is what appears to be happening.

An example would be Sacramento (I posted data on Sacramento yesterday).  In Sacramento, total sales were down 9% in Jan 2013 compared to Jan 2012, but conventional sales were up 51%!  I'd say that market is still unhealthy, but recovering.

Short Sales ShareForeclosure Sales ShareTotal "Distressed" Share
Las Vegas36.2%28.1%12.5%45.5%48.7%73.6%
Mid-Atlantic (MRIS)13.1%16.4%12.7%16.9%25.8%33.3%
Hampton Roads    34.9%37.2%
Charlotte    18.1%21.0%
Metro Detroit  36.3%54.5%  
Memphis*  25.9%36.6% 
*share of existing home sales, based on property records