Cash Sales, Distressed Sales, and REO Sales, Oh My…

The shares of cash and distressed sales in the overall U.S. housing market in September continued their slow march back toward pre-recession norms. The most recent look into nontraditional sales by CoreLogic showed that cash sales comprised a little less than 32 percent of home sales in September, while distressed sales made up 7 percent.

September’s cash numbers were down 1.3 percent from last year, having fallen steadily since their 2011 peak of nearly 47 percent. Alabama had the largest cash sales share of any state: at 47.6 percent. West Virginia and New York reported more than 45 percent, while Florida and Indiana each posted about 41 percent. Before the recession, about 25 percent of sales were cash, on average. CoreLogic expects the market to hit that mark in 2019.

Distressed sales in September dropped 3 percent from a year ago. The pre-crisis share of distressed sales was traditionally about 2 percent. If the current year-over-year decrease in the distressed sales share continues, it will reach that mark in mid-2018, CoreLogic stated.

All but nine states recorded lower distressed sales shares in September, when compared with a year earlier. Maryland’s 19 percent was the largest share of distressed sales of any state. Connecticut was close, with 18.4 percent. Michigan (17.6 percent), New Jersey (15.9 percent) and Illinois (15.1 percent) rounded out the five most distressed sales-heavy states.

North Dakota had the smallest distressed sales share at 2.7 percent. It and the District of Columbia are within a single percent of their pre-crisis levels.

Overall REO sales in September hit their lowest point since August 2007 at 4.7 percent, though REO sales had the largest cash sales share in September, 60 percent. Resales had the next-highest cash sales share at 32 percent, followed by short sales at 31 percent. Cash-paid new-builds were at 15.5 percent.

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