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RealtyTrac: Fewer cash local cash buyers than in U.S.

Highlights:

  • RealtyTrac releases October home report.
  • Report tracks percentage of all-cash buyers.
  • Denver, Colorado lag nation average for cash buyers.

All-cash buyers of properties in the Denver area and in Colorado make up a smaller percentage of all home sales than in the nation as a whole, according to a nationwide analysis of October home sales released today.

Buyers who paid all cash for properties last month accounted for 29.1 percent of all sales in the Denver area and 30.7 percent in Colorado, compared with 44.2 percent for the entire nation, according to the report by RealtyTrac, the housing data company based in Irvine, Calif.

“My understanding is that a normal historic rate for this is under 20 percent,” said Ryan McMaken, chief economist and spokesman for the Colorado Division of Housing, who released his own report of October foreclosure activity in Colorado on Monday.

McMaken’s report found that October activity in Colorado has dropped 55 percent to the lowest level since the division began tracking foreclosures in 2007.

McMaken said the RealtyTrac report “suggests that there is still a lot of investor activity behind these gains in home sale transactions, and activity among higher-income buyers. Obviously, lower and middle-income people aren’t often buying with cash.”

The RealtyTrac report also found:

  • Colorado, there were 138,378 sales of all properties in October on an annualized basis, which accounts for 0.002 percent of the 5.65 million single-family homes, townhomes and condos  nationwide.
  • Colorado sales activity rose by 2 percent and 4 percent, from September and October 2012, respectively. The U.S. month-to-month increase was also 2 percent, while year-over-year, sales activity was up 13 percent in October.
  • The median sale price of all Colorado homes in October was $227,900, compared with $170,000 nationwide.
  • The median sale price in Colorado was down 1 percent from September, while nationally it was unchanged. Colorado home prices rose 10 percent from October 2012, while they rose 6 percent nationwide.
  • In the Denver-Aurora metropolitan statistical area, there were 75,313 annualized sale, up 2 percent from September and 6 percent from October 2012.
  • The median price of all homes sold in October in the Denver area was $243,000, down 2 percent from September and up 7 percent from October 2012.

Declining short sales

 Nationwide, one trend is that there are fewer short sales, in which a lender agrees to accept less than the mortgage amount.

“After a surge in short sales in late 2011 and early 2012, the favored disposition method for distressed properties is shifting back toward the more traditional foreclosure auction sales and bank-owned sales,” said Daren Blomquist,vice president at RealtyTrac.

“The combination of rapidly rising home prices — along with strong demand from institutional investors and other cash buyers able to buy at the public foreclosure auction or an as-is REO home — means short sales are becoming less favorable for lenders.”

Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at  JRCHOOK@gmail.com. InsideRealEstateNews.com is sponsored by Universal Lending, Land Title Guarantee and 8z Real Estate. To read more articles by John Rebchook, subscribe to the Colorado Real Estate Journal.