California Home Sales Not So Distressed Anymore

The number of short sales and bank-sold homes is down. Way down.

The number of short sales and bank-sold homes has dropped from 69.5 percent of all homes sold in 2009 to 15.6 percent today. Patch file photo.
The number of short sales and bank-sold homes has dropped from 69.5 percent of all homes sold in 2009 to 15.6 percent today. Patch file photo.

Vastly improved home prices over the past five years have changed the landscape of California's distressed housing market, which is now just a fraction of what it was during the Great Recession, the California Association of Realtors said today.

In January 2009, 69.5 percent of all homes sold in California were distressed, which includes short sales and real estate-owned properties, REOs. Five years later, that figure has shrunk to 15.6 percent, CAR said in a statement.

REOs comprised 60 percent of all sales in January 2009, while short sales made up 9.1 percent of all sales but rose to as high as 25.6 percent in January 2012. Short sales currently make up 9.2 percent of all sales, according to CAR. During the same time period, California's median home price has soared more than 64 percent from $249,960 in January 2009 to $410,990 in January 2014.

"The dramatic drop in the share of distressed sales throughout the state reflects a market that is fully transitioning from the housing downturn," said CAR President Kevin Brown. "Significant home price appreciation over the past five years has lifted the market value of many underwater homes, and as a result, many homeowners have gained significant equity in their homes, resulting in fewer short sales and foreclosures."

The statewide share of equity sales hit a high of 86.4 percent in November 2013 and has been above 80 percent for the past seven months.

In some of the hardest hit California counties, the distressed market in January 2009 was 93.6 percent in Stanislaus County, 93 percent in San Joaquin County, 89.5 percent in San Benito County, 86.1 percent in Kern County, 85.6 percent in Sacramento County, 84.2 percent in Fresno County, and 83.6 percent in Monterey County. 

The distressed market now has shrunk to 24.8 percent in Stanislaus, 25.1 percent in San Joaquin, 17.5 percent in San Benito, 18.4 percent in Kern, 19.9 percent in Sacramento, 26.3 percent in Fresno, and 16.9 percent in Monterey counties, CAR said.

--City News Service

Ricardo Cabeza March 10, 2014 at 03:33 PM
So, those that walked away from $250,000 loans are now renting $400,000 homes.
Brainwashed_In_Church March 10, 2014 at 04:05 PM
For a while there (2008) the guy drinking out of the brown paper bag, pushing his shopping card full of his belongings down Santa Ana Boulevard had a higher net worth than 69% of the people in Ladera Ranch. The Ladera Ranch folks were underwater and had a negative net worth while the wino had a $69 net worth.
Jock March 10, 2014 at 06:43 PM
We are seeing lots of non local investors coming through and buying up property to resell. They are also buying lots in the hills without any thought to what it is doing. We see the big Mercedes, the watch that looks like a gold bar and then we see the house built on those lots that look like city condo's and if possible, they are condo's. Hooray for unrestrained building and even better, buying ! As above posts point out, most of former home owners are not the winners in this. It looks good in numbers but look into who is buying these properties. Do they go directly to owners who will live in them or are thy gobbled by investors with no stake in the community but profit ?
John March 11, 2014 at 12:36 PM
This is all a race to the bottom. Those that lost their homes are going to be forced into high rents now that large investment firms snatched up large chunks of homes. They really think that when the market is in their favor that anyone is going to be able to purchase these over priced houses?
Pat T March 11, 2014 at 01:31 PM
Losing your home defiantly doesn't make you a winner. It's devastating. You don't know unless it happens to you .


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