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SD annual home prices up in September; sales down

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Home prices in the San Diego metro area are up 22 percent from last year, while sales are down 17 percent, according to RealtyTrac’s September 2013 U.S. Residential & Foreclosure Sales Report.

San Diego residential properties, including single-family homes, condominiums and townhomes, sold at an annualized pace of 50,321 in September, unchanged from August and down 17 percent from September 2012.

The median sales price of San Diego residential properties, including distressed and non-distressed, in September was $410,000, up 1 percent from August and up 22 percent from September 2012.

Distressed properties sold for 25 percent below the median price of non-distressed residential properties.

Short sales accounted for 15 percent of all San Diego sales, and lender-owned (REO) sales accounted for 10 percent.

Institutional investor sales accounted for 6 percent of sales, and all cash sales accounted for 33 percent.

“Home sales have been holding steady for the past three months in spite of slightly increased interest rates, and the listing inventory has increased substantially, which is giving homebuyers far more choices,” said Rich Cosner, president of Prudential California Realty, covering the Southern California market.

“Cash sales continue to account for a substantial number of home sales in Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties, but are decreasing by the month.”

Statewide, residential properties sold at an annualized pace of 587,349 in September, unchanged from August and down 15 percent from September 2012.

The median sales price of California properties was $345,000 in September, down 1 percent from August and up 30 percent from September 2012.

Short sales accounted for 14 percent of all California sales, and REOs accounted for 10 percent. Institutional investor sales accounted for 7 percent of all sales and all cash sales accounted for 31 percent.

U.S. residential properties sold at an estimated annualized pace of 5,673,249 in September, up 2 percent from August and up 14 percent from September 2012.

Annualized sales volume increased from the previous month in 34 out of the 38 states tracked in the report, and was up from a year ago in 35 states.

Notable exceptions where annualized sales volume decreased from a year ago were California (down 15 percent), Arizona (down 11 percent) and Nevada (down 5 percent).

States with the biggest annual increases in median prices were California (up 30 percent), Michigan (up 25 percent), Nevada (up 23 percent), Georgia (up 20 percent) and Arizona (up 20 percent).

The national median sales price of all residential properties in September was $174,000, up 1 percent from a revised $172,000 median price in August and up 6 percent from a $164,500 median price in September 2012.

The median price of a distressed residential property — in foreclosure or lender-owned — in September was $112,000, 41 percent below the median price of $189,000 for a non-distressed residential property.

Distressed sales combined accounted for 25 percent of all sales in September, up from 18 percent of all sales a year ago.

“The housing market continues to skew in favor of investors, particularly deep-pocketed institutional investors, and other buyers paying with cash,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

“While the institutional investors are pulling back their purchases in many of the higher-priced markets — places like San Francisco, Washington, D.C., New York, Seattle and Sacramento — they are continuing to ramp up purchases in markets where median prices are still below $200,000 — places like Jacksonville (Fla.), Atlanta, Charlotte (N.C.), St. Louis and Dallas," he said.

"The availability of distressed inventory also makes a difference," Blomquist said. "For example, institutional investor purchases have rebounded in Las Vegas corresponding to a recent rebound in foreclosure activity there."

Institutional investors (purchasing 10 or more properties in the last 12 months) accounted for 14 percent of all sales in September, up from 9 percent in August and also 9 percent in September 2012.

September had the highest percentage of institutional investor purchases of any month since RealtyTrac began tracking in January 2011.

All-cash purchases nationwide represented 49 percent of all residential sales in September, up from a revised 40 percent in August and up from 30 percent in September 2012.

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