Housing market recovery in the US being driven by investors and cash buyers

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December 27, 2013 8:21 PM EST

Residential properties in the United States, including single family homes, condominiums and town homes, sold at an estimated annual pace of 5,146,565 in November, according to the latest figures from housing data firm RealtyTrac.

It is a less than 1% increase from a revised pace of 5,128,034 in October but up 10% from November 2012 and annualized sale volume declined from the previous month in 18 states and was down from a year ago in four states.

California saw an annual decline of 14%, Arizona was down 12%, Nevada down 9% and Rhode Island down 4% while annualised sales volume declined from a year ago in 14 of the nation’s 50 largest metros, including seven California metros, two metros in both Arizona and New York, along with Las Vegas, New Haven, Connecticut, and Portland, Oregon.

The national median sales price of all residential properties, including both distressed and non-distressed sales, was $169,000 in November, up 1% from October and up 7% from November 2012, the 19th consecutive month median home prices have increased on an annualized basis.

The median price of a distressed residential property in foreclosure or bank owned was $110,500 in November, some 39% below the median price of $181,500 for a non-distressed residential property.

‘The housing market recovery continued to be driven by investors and other cash purchasers in November. Lenders are taking advantage of this environment to unload more of their bank owned inventory and in-foreclosure inventory at the foreclosure auction,’ said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

‘But as the backlog of distressed inventory available dries up in many of the markets with the most efficient foreclosure processes, namely California, Arizona and Nevada, with Georgia not far behind, overall sales volume is declining and will continue to do so until more non-distressed sellers enter the market,’ he added.

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