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By G. Steven Bray
Corelogic, a real estate analytics company, reported this week that distressed home sales, short sales and foreclosed homes, fell again last month to 11.4% of all sales, their lowest level since 12/07. The diminishing share and the competition for those homes have contributed to home price increases, as distressed sales typically sell at a discount.
The improvement in this measure of home industry health is susbtantial. At the height of the housing bust, distressed sales accounted for almost 1/3 of the total. However, a more sobering view is to compare it to the share before the bust. At that time only 2% of the market was distressed sales.
But let’s take the glass half full view. Other data also points to an improving market. Existing home sales rose for the 4th straight month in Jul, the inventory of homes for sales is increasing, and home prices are moderating. With still very low mortgage rates, this fall could be great opportunity for homebuyers.