Clear Capital: REO Influences ‘Soften’

National home price gains continue climbing, according to Clear Capital's most recent Home Data Index, which features data compiled through Aug. 25.

National quarterly price gains reached 7.3%, with the Midwest (16.4%), South (5.7%), Northeast (5.4%) and West (3%) regions all continuing to post gains.

The national real estate owned property (REO) saturation rate (i.e., the percentage of REOs sold to all properties sold in the last rolling quarter) dropped more than three points since last month's report to 30.1%.

On a metropolitan statistical area basis, 28 of the 30 major markets saw improving REO saturation rates when compared to a month earlier. Los Angeles and Fresno returned their first positive quarterly price gains since mid-2006, as REO properties made up a smaller portion of California sales.

"While we do expect more REO inventory to hit the market as we close 2009, this dramatic seasonal price and volume increase in sales of non-REO homes could create positive momentum going into the normally slow fall and winter seasons," says Kevin Marshall, Clear Capital's president. "Buyers are getting nervous that they are missing the bottom of the market, so they're choosing to get in the market now. These factors greatly increase the chances of a springtime recovery next year."

Distressed sales have outpaced the inflow of new REOs over the last quarter, softening the downward pressures introduced by REOs and aiding recent price gains.

The Midwest, Northeast and South have similar yearly losses, which further highlights the disparity still present in the REO-saturated West. However, the West did continue to expand its quarterly price gain to 3%, while reducing its quarterly REO saturation rate to 41.9% – a 3.4 point reduction from last month.

SOURCE: Clear Capital


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