Nearly Half of Home Purchases Are Distressed Properties,
Latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance Survey Shows
WASHINGTON DC (March 22,
2010) – The share of home purchase transactions involving distressed
properties surged to almost half in February, according to the latest
Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance Monthly Survey of Real Estate Market
Last month distressed properties – those involving
homes acquired as part of a foreclosure or pre-foreclosure sale –
accounted for 48.1% of the home purchase transactions tracked in the
closely-watched monthly survey. This was way up from the 37.3% level
recorded as recently as November. It was also the highest distressed
property market share seen since last July.
Stepped up government efforts, including temporary
foreclosure moratoriums and a push to qualify more financially troubled
homeowners for mortgage modifications, temporarily reduced the number of
distressed properties coming on the housing market in the fall and much
of this past winter. But now a growing number of distressed properties
appear to be hitting the housing market.
There are three major types of distressed properties:
damaged Real Estate Owned (REO), move-in ready REO, and short sales.
During the period from November to February, the proportion of all three
categories rose; damaged REO grew from 12.3% to 14.4%, move-in ready REO
grew from 12.6% to 16.6%, and short sales grew from 12.4% to 17.1%.
“Short sales now account for the No. 1 category of
distressed property,” commented Thomas Popik, research director for
Campbell Surveys. “Losses on short sales are typically lower than for
REO, and both lenders and the government are pushing programs to
facilitate short sales. But as more and more people default or simply
want to walk away from their properties, mortgage servicers are having
trouble expeditiously processing these complicated transactions.”
Meanwhile, in a hopeful sign for the housing market,
first-time homebuyers are once again playing a growing role. The latest
survey showed that the share of first-time homebuyers grew from 38.9% in
January to 42.9% in February. Much of this growth is attributable to a
major tax credit due to expire this spring. In order to qualify for an
$8,000 tax credit, first-time homebuyers must have signed a purchase
contract by April 30 and must close the transaction by June 30.
As more distressed properties have come onto the
market, home prices are again showing signs of weakness. Average home
prices for all four categories of properties – damaged REO, move-in
ready REO, short sales, and non-distressed – declined from January to
February in the latest survey.
The Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance Survey of Real
Estate Market Conditions polls more than 1,500 real estate agents
nationwide each month and provides up-to-date intelligence on home sales
and mortgage usage patterns.
For more information
on the survey contact: John Campbell at Campbell Surveys, (202)