RealtyTrac: Foreclosure sales continue to decline

A high number of foreclosed houses can be indicative of a struggling housing market. Thankfully for all those involved, this doesn't appear to be the case any more. While foreclosure sales were prominent only a few years ago, this key metric has continued to decline in recent memory.

A high number of foreclosed houses can be indicative of a struggling housing market. Thankfully for all those involved, this doesn't appear to be the case any more. While foreclosure sales were prominent only a few years ago, this key metric has continued to decline in recent memory. 

According to a report from RealtyTrac, short sales and foreclosure sales made up only 13 percent of total sales during the third quarter of 2014. The last time that figure was that low was back in early 2011. The estimated annual pace of these types of sales was down 1 percent from August to September and 19 percent compared to the same time last year.

RealtyTrac also explained that the median sales price for all U.S. residential properties was only $195,000 in September, slightly higher than the level reported in August.  

"Median home prices nationally in September were boosted by a new low in the share of distressed sales during the third quarter, resulting in fewer home sales on the lower end," stated Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac. "The share of homes selling above $200,000 is up 7 percent from a year ago, and the share of homes selling above $500,000 is up 15 percent from a year ago."

Home price gains taper
The strong rise in home price gains has begun to slow down, according to information released by S&P Dow Jones Indices. 

Through August, the 10-City composite only increased by 5.5 percent on a yearly basis while the 20-City composite ticked up 5.6 percent. That is slower than the gains noted from the month prior. The National Index rose by only 5.1 percent in August compared to the same time last year.

David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee, explained that home price gains continue to decelerate, even with steady increases across the country.

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