In May 2013, distressed homes, that’s to say, foreclosures and short sales accounted for 18 percent of May sales. This is unchanged from April. Fewer distressed homes, which generally sell at a discount, account for some of the price gain.
When you boil down the numbers, 11 percent of May sales were foreclosures, and 7 percent were short sales. The foreclosures sold for an average discount of 15 percent below market value in May, while short sales were discounted 12 percent.
Freddie Mac’s numbers show that the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.54 percent in May from 3.45 percent in April; it was 3.80 percent in May 2012.
Most homes were on the market for 41 days, that the median time, which is down from 46 days in April, and still this is 43 percent faster than the 72 days on market in May 2012. Meanwhile, short sales were on the market for a median of 79 days, while foreclosures typically sold in 43 days and non-distressed homes took 39 days.
In May, 45 percent of all homes sold were on the market for less than a month. This median time on the market is the shortest since monthly tracking began in May 2011. Of these homes, first-time buyers accounted for 28 percent of purchases in May, compared with a slightly higher 29 percent in April and 34 percent in May 2012.
All-cash sales were 33 percent of transactions completed in May. This is up from 32 percent in April and 28 percent in May 2012. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 18 percent of homes in May; they were 19 percent in April and 17 percent in May 2012.
Additionally, single-family home sales rose five percent, making a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.60 million in May from 4.38 million in April, both of which are 12.7 percent higher than the 4.08 million-unit pace in May 2012. The median existing single-family home price was $208,700 in May, up 15.8 percent above a year ago, the strongest increase since October 2005 when it jumped 16.9 percent from a year earlier.
Existing condominium and co-op sales have slipped 1.7 percent to an annualized rate of 580,000 units in May from 590,000 just a month earlier in April, but are 13.7 percent above the 510,000-unit level just a year ago. The median existing condo price was $202,100 in May, which is 11.8 percent above a year ago.
Let’s talk regions. In the Northeast, existing-home sales rose 1.6 percent to an annual rate of 650,000 in May; that’s 8.3 percent above May 2012. The median price in the Northeast was $269,600, which is up 12.3 percent from a year ago. Existing-home sales in the Midwest also jumped: they’re up eight percent in May to a pace of 1.21 million, and are 16.3 percent higher than a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $159,800, up 8.2 percent from May 2012.
Meanwhile, down in the South, existing-home sales rose four percent to an annual level of 2.09 million in May and are 16.1 percent above May 2012. The median price in the South was $183,300, which is 15.0 percent above a year ago.
Existing-home sales in the West increased 2.5 percent to a pace of 1.23 million in May and are seven percent above a year ago. With the tightest regional supply, the median price in the West was $276,400, up 19.9 percent from May 2012.