News

U.S. foreclosures drop to 9-year low

2017-02-02

IRVINE, Calif. – Feb. 2, 2017 – In 2016, distressed sales hit a nine-year low, according to ATTOM Data Solutions latest report. In the U.S., 16.2 percent of single-family home and condo sales were distressed sales – bank-owned sales, short sales or foreclosure auctions sold to third-party buyers – down from 18.8 percent of all sales in 2015.

  • Bank-owned (REO) sales hit a 10-year low, accounting for 8.0 percent of all sales in 2016, down from 10.0 percent in 2015.
  • Short sales – homes that sold for less than the combined amount of loans secured by the property – hit an eight-year low, and accounted for 5.5 percent of all 2016 home sales, down from 6.0 percent in 2015.
  • Foreclosure auction sales (trustee's sales or sheriff's sales) sold to third-party investors (not including those going back to the foreclosing lender) hit a nine-year low, and accounted for 2.8 percent of all home sales in 2016, down from 2.9 percent in 2015.

"The housing market hit several important milestones in 2016, with distressed sales at a nine-year low and home prices at a 10-year high – just barely below the pre-recession peak in 2006," says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions.

"This was all good news for home sellers, who realized their biggest average profits since purchase nationwide in 2016," Blomquist adds. "Even distressed property sellers are benefitting from this hot seller's market, with a record-high share of homes at foreclosure auction being purchased by third-party buyers rather than reverting back to the foreclosing bank."

While foreclosures were generally down, the share sold to third-party investors hit a record high, however: Third-party foreclosure-auction buyers accounted for 28.5 percent of all completed auctions in 2016, with the rest (71.5 percent) going back to the foreclosing lender. That's an increase from 23.5 percent in 2015 and the highest share since ATTOM first recording the numbers in 2000.

Two Florida cities made ATTOM's top-5 list for total numbers of foreclosures sold to third-party buyers, with Miami at No. 1 (4,954), followed by Philadelphia (4,043), Atlanta (3,657), New York-Newark-Jersey City (3,495) and Tampa (3,163).

"Increased competition at the foreclosure auction is resulting in higher sales prices there, which can even result in surplus proceeds going to the distressed homeowner in some cases after other lien holders have been paid," Blomquist says.

"Our analysis of sales prices at completed foreclosure auctions in 2016 shows the smallest average loss from the property's previous sale price since 2007, with 29 percent of properties nationwide selling for more than the previous sales price at the foreclosure auction," he says. "In a handful of markets … more than 50 percent of properties sold at foreclosure auctions in 2016 sold for more than their previous sale price."

In a separate analysis of home prices, ATTOM found that 89 percent of metro areas it tracked saw home prices increases last year, and a few areas saw double-digit increases, including some Florida cities. Among 201 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000 and sufficient home price data, those with double-digit gains include Tampa-St. Petersburg (up 14.0 percent), Denver (up 11.3 percent), Portland, Oregon (up 12.1 percent); Orlando (up 10.1 percent) and Jacksonville (up 12.9 percent).

Among 201 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000 and sufficient home price data, 89 metro areas (44 percent) reached new all-time home price peaks in 2016; and 106 of 201 areas (53 percent) reached new all-time home price peaks since 2010.

© 2017 Florida Realtors®

Reprinted with permission. Florida Realtors®. All rights reserved.

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