While one might assume that a majority of these all-cash sales were made by institutional investors, that's not the case: According to the report, institutional investors (defined as purchasing 10 or more properties in the last 12 months) accounted for only 10% of all sales in August, up from 9% in July and 9% in August 2012.
Among metropolitan areas with a population of 1 million or more, those with the highest percentage of all-cash sales were Miami (69%); Detroit (68%); Las Vegas (66%); Jacksonville, Fla. (65%); and Tampa, Fla. (64%).
Among metropolitan areas with a population of 1 million or more, those with the highest percentage of institutional investor purchases were Memphis, Tenn. (31%); Jacksonville, Fla. (29%); Atlanta (22%); St. Louis (17%); and Detroit (17%).
Overall, U.S. residential properties, including single-family homes and condominiums and town houses, sold at an estimated annualized pace of 5.6 million in August, up 2% from the 5.5 million in July and up 12% from 5 million in August 2012.
The national median sales price in August was $175,000, up 3% from the previous month and up 6% from a year ago. RealtyTrac notes that August was the 17th consecutive month where median home prices increased annually.
The median price of a distressed residential property (in foreclosure or bank-owned) in was $116,000, up 1% from July, but down 3% from August 2012.
‘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 percent below the peak of the housing price bubble in August 2006,’ says 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.’
Short sales accounted for 15% of all U.S. residential sales in August, up from 14% in July and 8% in August 2012. States with the biggest percentage of short sales were Nevada (34%), Florida (29%), Ohio (23%), Maryland (21%), Tennessee (20%) and Michigan (20%).
Sales of bank-owned homes accounted for 10% of all U.S. residential sales in August, up from 9% in July and 9% in August 2012. States with the biggest percentage of REO were Nevada (22%), Ohio (17%), Arizona (17%), Michigan (16%), Illinois (14%) and California (14%).
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%), Illinois (up 29%), Pennsylvania (up 28%), Virginia (up 26%) and Florida (up 22%). Notable exceptions where sales volume decreased from a year ago included California (down 17%), Arizona (down 12%) and Nevada (down 6%).
States with biggest annual increases in median prices for August were California (up 32%); Nevada (up 26%); Georgia (up 21%); Arizona (up 20%); and New York (up 19%).
Metropolitan areas with the biggest annual increases in median prices included San Francisco (up 35%); Sacramento, Calif. (up 35%); Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif. (up 28%); Atlanta (up 28%); Los Angeles (up 26%); Las Vegas (up 26%); and Phoenix (up 25%).
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