USA Property News

US home sales up 6% year on year, latest index shows

Home sales in the United States increased by 6% year on year in November to a non seasonally adjusted 4.6 million annual sales pace, according to the latest data from CoreLogic.

This was below the October 2013 non-seasonally adjusted annual sales pace of 5.2 million but the firm pointed out that a slow down in home sales is expected heading into the winter months. Home sales have increased year over year for the past 23 months, an indication that the housing market continues to recover.

Improvement in November home sales were led by re-sales which increased by 16%, followed by sales of newly constructed homes which increased by 14%.

Real-estate owned (REO) sales and short sales decreased by 24% and 29% respectively, continuing the trend in the shift away from distressed sales towards healthy home sales.

Distressed sales accounted for 16.2% of total sales in November 2013, a strong improvement from a year ago when distressed sales were 23.1% of total sales. Distressed sales are made up of REO and short sales, which were 10.4% and 5.8%, respectively, of total sales in November.

The peak in the distressed sales share was in January 2009 when distressed sales totalled 32.9% of all sales. REO sales made up 28.3% of sales at their peak, and this shift away from REO sales is a driver of improving home prices, as REOs typically sell at a larger discount to healthy sales than short sales, the firm pointed out.

Its reports says that there will always be some amount of distress in the housing market, so one would never expect a 0% distressed sales share, but the pre-crisis share of distressed sales was traditionally about 2%.

Nevada had the largest share of distressed sales of any state at 32.3% in November, followed by Michigan at 30.4%, Illinois at 27.6%, Florida at 26.2% and Georgia at 24.7%. California saw a 17.8% drop in the distressed sales share, the largest of any state.

Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford in Florida had the largest share of distressed sales of the largest 25 Core Based Statistical Areas at 31.1%, followed by Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights in Illinois at 30.8%, Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall in Florida at 29.5%, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater in Florida at 27.3% and Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell in Georgia at 27.2%.

Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise in Nevada had the largest drop in the distressed share, falling by 23.3% from 48.9% in November 2012 to 25.6% in November 2013.