California Real Estate: Not So Distressed

Vastly improved home prices over the past five years have changed the
landscape of California’s distressed housing market, which is now just a
fraction of what it was during the Great Recession, the California Association of Realtors said today.

January 2009, 69.5 percent of all homes sold in California were
distressed, which includes short sales and real estate-owned properties,
REOs. Five years later, that figure has shrunk to 15.6 percent, CAR
said in a statement.

REOs comprised 60 percent of all sales in
January 2009, while short sales made up 9.1 percent of all sales but
rose to as high as 25.6 percent in January 2012. Short sales currently
make up 9.2 percent of all sales, according to CAR. During the same time
period, California’s median home price has soared more than 64 percent
from $249,960 in January 2009 to $410,990 in January 2014.

dramatic drop in the share of distressed sales throughout the state
reflects a market that is fully transitioning from the housing
downturn,” said CAR President Kevin Brown. “Significant home price
appreciation over the past five years has lifted the market value of
many underwater homes, and as a result, many homeowners have gained
significant equity in their homes, resulting in fewer short sales and
foreclosures.” The statewide share of equity sales hit a high of
86.4 percent in November 2013 and has been above 80 percent for the past
seven months.

In some of the hardest hit California counties, the
distressed market in January 2009 was 93.6 percent in Stanislaus
County, 93 percent in San Joaquin County, 89.5 percent in San Benito
County, 86.1 percent in Kern County, 85.6 percent in Sacramento County,
84.2 percent in Fresno County, and 83.6 percent in Monterey County.

distressed market now has shrunk to 24.8 percent in Stanislaus, 25.1
percent in San Joaquin, 17.5 percent in San Benito, 18.4 percent in
Kern, 19.9 percent in Sacramento, 26.3 percent in Fresno, and 16.9
percent in Monterey counties, CAR said.