Want To Buy A Foreclosure Or Short Sale? Better move quick and pay up!

When I first got in the real estate business in 1979 buying foreclosed property was something pretty well limited to speculators at the time.  People like the broker I started with, and what I became a few years later, that bought property for cash, as-is generally to fix up and resell.  Foreclosures, and how to buy them, were a mystery at the time, not only to the general public but to many in the real estate business as well.  This is what gave us speculators an edge…we knew how to get the information on foreclosures and how the process worked. Ditto for tax sales and sheriff sales and short sales were something that didn’t even exist at the time.

Today, it’s all different however.  Thanks largely to the internet and reality TV, it seems everyone knows about foreclosures, tax sales, and just about every other way of finding and buying distressed property.  While this is good for sellers and for listing agents, it’s made it tough on investors and other buyers looking to take advantage of the opportunity offered through distressed sales.  The result has been a highly competitive market and higher prices.  This was evidenced by the sales data from last year.  As the tables below show, most of the distressed homes sold during 2016 sold for a median of 100% of the current list price at the time of sale.

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St Louis Distressed Home Sales Increase Over 40 Percent In August

There were 184 distressed homes (short-sales and foreclosures) sold in St Louis (the 5-county core market) during the month of August, an increase of 44 percent from July when there were just 128 distressed home sales.  As the chart below shows, distressed home sales in August 2016 declined 5 percent from August 2015 when there were 194 distressed homes sold in St Louis.

As the table below shows, the median price of distressed homes sold over the past two years was $61,000 and for the most recent month, August 2016, the median price was $$65,050.

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Distressed Home Sales Share of St Louis Market Declined Nearly Forty Percent In Past 2 Years

Distressed Home Sales accounted for just 13 percent of St Louis home sales thus far in 2015, a decline of 37.6 percent from two years ago when over 1 in every 5 (20.83%) St Louis home sales was a short sale or foreclosure.  As the table below shows, through the end of October this year, there have been just 475 short sales in the 5-county core St Louis real estate market, or just under 2 percent of total home sales, and just 2,713 sales of bank and government-owned homes, just over 11 percent of total home sales.

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Distressed Home Sales Share of St Louis Real Estate Market

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Distressed Home Sales In February Fall Back to 2008 Rate

Distressed home sales (foreclosures, REO’s and short sales) made up 13.5 percent of the home sales in the U.S. in February, 2015, a decline of 18% from a year ago when the rate was 16.5 percent and is a decline of 5.6% from January when the rate was 14.3%, according to a report just released by Corelogic.  The rate of distressed home sales in February 2015 marks the lowest rate for the month of February since February 2008, according to the report.

 

REO Sales down almost two-thirds from peak

During the peak, January 2009, distressed home sales accounted for 32.4 percent of al home sales with REO sales making up 27.9% of that share.  In February, 2015, REO sales accounted for 9.7 percent of all home sales, a decline of nearly two-thirds (65.23%).

Short Sales down only slightly

Quite different than the figures for REO sales, short sales accounted for 4.5% of all home sales back in January 2009 and still accounted for 3.8% of them in February 2015, for a decline of just 15.6% percent.

Still far from “normal”

Even with the declines, we are a far way from “normal”….prior to the real estate market crisis, distressed home sales made accounted for just about 2% of home sales so we still have a long way to go.

 

Michigan is the king of distress

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St Louis Distressed Home Sales Drop Thirty Percent In November From Year Ago

St Louis Distressed Home Sales ticked up slightly in November 2014 rom October but declined over thirty percent (30.8%) from November 2013, according to data just released by RealtyTrac.   As the table below shows, all the counties in the St Louis core market except one saw an increase in distressed home sales in November from the month before and all saw a decline in November from a year ago.

On a national level, distressed home sales in November 2014 accounted for 12.6% of all home sales, down from 13.7% in October and from 14.8% in November 2013.

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St Louis Distressed Home Sales November 2014

Copyright 2014 – St Louis Real Estate News – Data Source: RealtyTrac