Survey: Distressed Sales Fall, Investors Increase Short Sale Activity
05/24/2013 By: Esther Cho
In April, the share of sales involving foreclosures and short sales maintained their downward path, falling to the lowest level since 2009, according to the Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking survey.
Using a three-month moving average, the survey found distressed sales accounted for 33 percent of home purchases in April, a decrease from 35.6 percent in March and 43.6 percent in April 2012. The figure for April is the lowest level since the HousingPulse survey began accumulating data on such properties in 2009.
As expected, investor activity also slowed during the same time period. According to the survey, 21.6 percent of purchases were made by investors for the month, which is the lowest level recorded for investors since November.
Despite the overall decrease in distressed sales and investor activity, the survey reported short sale activity has gone up for investors, with investor short sale purchases up to 35.3 percent, an increase from 31.8 percent in March and 30.5 percent in April 2012.
Investors also appeared to be more focused on buying foreclosures that require repair work as they pursue properties to convert to rentals, HousingPulse reported. In April, 62.8 percent of damaged REOs were bought by investors, down from 63.9 percent in March, but up from 60.4 percent a year ago.
The survey, which includes about 2,000 real estate agents nationwide, also noted that based on feedback from agents, it seems hedge funds and Wall Street investors are very active in California, Florida, and Nevada, where they are competing with first-time homebuyers.