US residential property sales in August up 12% year-over-year, 2% from July to estimated annualized pace of 5.6 million; median home sales price up 6% from 2012, 3% month-over-month to US$175,500: RealtyTrac

IRVINE, California , September 26, 2013 (press release) – Sales Volume and Median Home Prices Continue to Increase in Most Markets; Short Sales and Bank-Owned Sales Combined Account for One in Four Sales

RealtyTrac® (, the nation's leading source for comprehensive housing data, today released its August 2013 U.S. Residential & Foreclosure Sales Report, which shows that U.S. residential properties, including single family homes and condominiums and townhomes, sold at an estimated annualized pace of 5.6 million in August, up 2 percent from the 5.5 million pace in July and up 12 percent from the 5.0 million pace in August 2012.

The national median sales price in August was $175,000, up 3 percent from the previous month and up 6 percent from a year ago -- the 17th consecutive month where median home prices have increased annually nationwide.

The median price of a distressed residential property -- in foreclosure or bank owned -- in August was $116,000, up 1 percent from the previous month, but down 3 percent from a year ago. Median distressed prices have now declined on an annual basis for six consecutive months including August.

"Seven years after the housing bubble burst, U.S. home prices are clearly on the rise again, up 23 percent from the bottom in March 2012 although still 26 below the peak of the housing price bubble in August 2006," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. "This recovery in home prices and sale volume continues to be driven in large part by cash buyers and institutional investors, as evidenced by the increasing share of sales represented by those two categories in August."

Other high-level findings from the report:

  • All-cash purchases represented 45 percent of all residential sales in August, up from 39 percent in July and 30 percent in August 2012. Among metro areas with a population of 1 million or more, those with the highest percentage of all-cash sales were Miami (69 percent), Detroit (68 percent), Las Vegas (66 percent), Jacksonville, Fla. (65 percent), and Tampa, Fla. (64 percent).
  • Institutional investors (purchasing 10 or more properties in the last 12 months) accounted for 10 percent of all sales in August, up from 9 percent in July and 9 percent in August 2012. Among metro areas with a population of 1 million or more, those with the highest percentage of institutional investor purchases were Memphis, Tenn. (31 percent), Jacksonville, Fla. (29 percent), Atlanta (22 percent), St. Louis (17 percent), and Detroit (17 percent).
  • Short sales accounted for 15 percent of all U.S. residential sales in August, up from 14 percent in July and 8 percent in August 2012. States with the biggest percentage of short sales were Nevada (34 percent), Florida (29 percent), Ohio (23 percent), Maryland (21 percent), Tennessee (20 percent), and Michigan (20 percent).
  • Sales of bank-owned homes accounted for 10 percent of all U.S. residential sales in August, up from 9 percent in July and 9 percent in August 2012. States with the biggest percentage of REO were Nevada (22 percent), Ohio (17 percent), Arizona (17 percent), Michigan (16 percent), Illinois (14 percent) and California (14 percent).
  • Sales volume increased from the previous month in 39 out of the 42 states tracked in the report and was up from a year ago in 37 states, including Texas, (up 31 percent), Illinois (up 29 percent), Pennsylvania (up 28 percent), Virginia (up 26 percent), and Florida (up 22 percent). Notable exceptions where sales volume decreased from a year ago included California (down 17 percent), Arizona (down 12 percent), Nevada (down 6 percent)
  • States with biggest annual increases in median prices include California (up 32 percent), Nevada (up 26 percent), Georgia (up 21 percent), Arizona (up 20 percent) and New York (up 19 percent).
  • Among metro areas with a population of 1 million or more, those with the biggest annual increases in median prices included San Francisco (up 35 percent), Sacramento (up 35 percent), Riverside-San Bernardino in Southern California (up 28 percent), Atlanta (up 28 percent), Los Angeles (up 26 percent), Las Vegas (up 26 percent), and Phoenix (up 25 percent).

Local broker perspectives
"The increase in short sales in August in the mid-Tennessee market is due to the banks' lengthy short sale approval process. We should see this level out in the coming months," said Bob Parks, CEO of Bob Parks Realty. "The continuous rise in interest rates has had an effect on the housing market with refinancing slowing as it typically does when rates go up. However, we are experiencing a great period of growth and stability in Tennessee."

"The Northern Utah area is experiencing a much healthier housing market overall, but the levels of demand and the amount of available inventory continue to be out of balance," said Steve Roney, CEO of Prudential Utah Real Estate covering the Salt Lake City and Park City, Utah, markets. "This is encouraging banks to accelerate their disposal of distressed inventory, which explains the increase of bank-owned home sales in our market."

"The Tulsa metro area has picked up as evidence by the increasing amount of open house traffic, while the Oklahoma City market has slowed," said Sheldon Detrick CEO of Prudential Detrick/Prudential Alliance Realty covering the Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Okla., markets. "The Oklahoma housing market experienced a large surge of demand from buyers during the past nine months, and now the market is leveling out and entering back into a more normal and sustainable pattern."

"The rise in cash sales in the San Francisco market is due to the overall health of the Northern California economy. Investors and homebuyers are making cash purchases to be competitive in the buying process and to circumvent the hassles and extra costs of financing," said Gretchen Pearson, president of Prudential California Realty, San Ramon. "We are seeing a normalizing of the market as home price appreciation continues to increase."

"The Portland metro area is experiencing uncharacteristically high foreclosures due to state laws that affected the foreclosure process, and this will begin to make a change as the recently foreclosed homes start to hit the market," said Brian Allen, president/owner Windermere Cronin & Caplan Realty Group, Inc. "The Portland market is experiencing a slight increase in inventory, a slight decrease in sales activity as a result of increased mortgage rates, and overall it is still a very strong market compared to years past."

Report methodology
The RealtyTrac U.S. Residential Sales Report provides counts and median prices for sales of residential properties nationwide, by state and metropolitan statistical areas with a population of 500,000 or more. Data is also available at the county level upon request. The report also provides a breakdown of cash sales, institutional investor sales, short sales and bank-owned sales. The data is derived from recorded sales deeds and loan data, which is used to determine cash sales and short sales. Sales counts for recent months are projected based on seasonality and expected number of sales records for those months that are not yet available from public record sources but will be in the future given historical patterns.

Residential property sales: sales of single family homes, condominiums/townhomes, and co-ops, not including multi-family properties.

Annualized sales: an annualized estimate of the number of residential property sales based on the actual number of sales deeds received for the month, accounting for expected sales records for that month that will be received in future months as well as seasonality.

Distressed sales: sale of a residential property that is actively in the foreclosure process or bank-owned when the sale is recorded.

Distressed discount: percentage difference between the median price of distressed sales and a non-distressed sales in a given geographic area.

Bank-Owned sales: sales of residential properties that have been foreclosed on and are owned by the foreclosing lender (bank).

Short sales: sales of residential properties where the sale price is below the combined total of outstanding mortgages secured by the property.

All-cash purchases: sales where no loan is recorded at the time of sale and where RealtyTrac has coverage of loan data.

Institutional investor purchases: residential property sales to non-lending entities that purchased at least 10 properties in the last 12 months.

Report License
The RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report is the result of a proprietary evaluation of information compiled by RealtyTrac; the report and any of the information in whole or in part can only be quoted, copied, published, re-published, distributed and/or re-distributed or used in any manner if the user specifically references RealtyTrac as the source for said report and/or any of the information set forth within the report.

Data Licensing and Custom Report Order
Investors, businesses and government institutions can contact RealtyTrac to license bulk foreclosure and neighborhood data or purchase customized reports. For more information contact our Data Licensing Department at 800.462.5193 or

About RealtyTrac Inc.
RealtyTrac ( is the leading supplier of U.S. real estate data, with more than 1.5 million active default, foreclosure auction and bank-owned properties, and more than 1 million active for-sale listings on its website, which also provides essential housing information for more than 100 million homes nationwide. This information includes property characteristics, tax assessor records, bankruptcy status and sales history, along with 20 categories of key housing-related facts provided by RealtyTrac's wholly-owned subsidiary, Homefacts®. RealtyTrac's foreclosure reports and other housing data are relied on by the Federal Reserve, U.S. Treasury Department, HUD, numerous state housing and banking departments, investment funds as well as millions of real estate professionals and consumers, to help evaluate housing trends and make informed decisions about real estate.

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