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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sacramento: Conventional Sales up Sharply Year-over-year in September, Active Inventory increases 77% year-over-year

by Calculated Risk on 10/17/2013 01:24:00 PM

Several years ago I started following the Sacramento market to look for changes in the mix of houses sold (conventional, REOs, and short sales).  For a long time, not much changed. But over the last 2 years we've seen some significant changes with a dramatic shift from foreclosures (REO: lender Real Estate Owned) to short sales, and the percentage of total distressed sales declining sharply.

This data suggests healing in the Sacramento market, although some of this is due to investor buying.  Other distressed markets are showing similar improvement.  Note: The Sacramento Association of REALTORS® started breaking out REOs in May 2008, and short sales in June 2009.

In September 2013, 16.0% of all resales (single family homes) were distressed sales. This was down from 19.0% last month, and down from 50.8% in September 2012. This is the lowest percentage of distressed sales - and therefore the highest percentage of conventional sales - since the association started tracking the data.

The percentage of REOs was at 3.9% (the lowest since the data was tracked), and the percentage of short sales decreased to 12.1%. (the lowest percentage for short sales since Sacramento started tracking short sales in June 2009).

Here are the statistics.

Distressed Sales Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the percent of REO sales, short sales and conventional sales.

There has been a sharp increase in conventional sales recently (blue). 

Active Listing Inventory for single family homes increased 77.3% year-over-year in September.  This is the fifth consecutive month with a year-over-year increase in inventory - clearly inventory has bottomed in Sacramento. 

Cash buyers accounted for 23.6% of all sales, down from 25.4% last month (frequently investors).  This has been trending down, and it appears investors are becoming less of a factor in Sacramento.

Total sales were down 11% from September 2012, but conventional sales were up 51% compared to the same month last year. This is exactly what we expect to see in an improving distressed market - flat or even declining overall sales as distressed sales decline, and conventional sales increasing.

As I've noted before, we are seeing a similar pattern in other distressed areas.  This suggests what will happen in other areas: 1) Flat or declining overall existing home sales, 2) but increasing conventional sales,  3) Less investor buying, 4) more inventory, and 5) slower price increases.