Economist Tom Lawler sent me the table below of short sales and foreclosures for several selected cities in February.
Look at the right two columns in the table below (Total “Distressed” Share for Feb 2013 compared to Feb 2012). In every area that has reported distressed sales so far, the share of distressed sales is down year-over-year – and down significantly in most areas.
Also there has been a decline in foreclosure sales just about everywhere. Look at the middle two columns comparing foreclosure sales for Feb 2013 to Feb 2012. Foreclosure sales have declined in all these areas, and some of the declines have been stunning (the Nevada sales were impacted by the new foreclosure law).
Also there has been a shift from foreclosures to short sales. In all of these areas, short sales now out number foreclosures.
I think this is important: Imagine that the number of total existing home sales doesn’t change over the next year – some people would argue that is “bad” news and the housing market isn’t recovering. But also imagine that the share of distressed sales declines 20%, and conventional sales increase to make up the difference. That would be a positive sign – and that is what appears to be happening.
An example would be Sacramento (I posted data on Sacramento earlier today). In Sacramento, total sales were down 14% in Feb 2013 compared to Feb 2012, but conventional sales were up 42%! I’d say that is a positive sign.
|Short Sales Share||Foreclosure Sales Share||Total “Distressed” Share|
|*share of existing home sales, based on property records|