Concluding the trifecta of today's housing data, we present perhaps the most authoritative report on what is actually going on in the market, that by RealtyTrac. What RealtyTrac has to say is in direct contradiction with both the Permits and Case-Shiller data, both of which are now openly reliant on yield-starved institutional investors dumping cash into current or future rental properties. In fact it's worse, because if RealtyTrac is accurate, the great institutional scramble for any housing is now over - to wit: "Cash Sales Pull Back From Previous Month, Still Represent 44 Percent of Total Sales Institutional Investor Purchases Plummet Nationwide... Institutional investor purchases represented 6.8 percent of all sales in October, a sharp drop from a revised 12.1 percent in September and down from 9.7 percent a year ago. Markets with the highest percentage of institutional investor purchases included Memphis (25.4 percent), Atlanta (23.0 percent), Jacksonville, Fla., (22.2 percent), Charlotte (14.5 percent), and Milwaukee (12.0 percent)." And plunging.
Some other observations from RT's October 2013 Residential & Foreclosure Sales Report, which makes one thing clear - while prices may still be going up, transaction volumes have cratered:
Despite the nationwide increase, home sales continued to decrease on an annual basis for the third consecutive month in three bellwether western states: California (down 15 from a year ago), Arizona (down 13 percent), and Nevada (down 5 percent).
The national median sales price of all residential properties — including both distressed and non-distressed sales — was $170,000, unchanged from September but up 6 percent from October 2012, the 18th consecutive month median home prices have increased on an annualized basis.
The median price of a distressed residential property — in foreclosure or bank owned — was $110,000 in October, 41 percent below the median price of $185,000 for a non-distressed property.
“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.”
More in the full report