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Minimal impact seen with ‘distressed’ real estate sales

The sale of “distressed” real estate produces different results in Northwest Arkansas and the Fort Smith area.

In the hot Benton County market, 15% of homes sales in October were a direct result of foreclosure, up 8% a year ago. Washington County reported 7% of its home sales in October were for distressed properties, up from 3% a year ago.

There were no real estate owned (REO) or foreclosure sales via auction in October across Crawford or Sebastian counties, according to a report from Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac.

Distressed homes continue to sell for discounted prices compared to non-distressed sales, but in several markets the prices on both categories are up from a year ago.

In Benton County where the foreclosure market is heating up, the distressed home sales prices of $101,526 were discounted some 25% from the median non-distressed sales price of $127,500. One year ago, the median distressed home sales price was $90,500, compared to a non-distressed median price of $130,000.

Washington County non-distressed home sales prices rose to $155,000 in October, up 5% from a year ago. When compared to the distressed median price of $113,000, buyers of these foreclosed properties received an average discount equaling 37% in October.

All median home prices ticked higher in Sebastian County during October. The non-distressed price of $128,000 in Sebastian County rose from $119,000 a year ago. Foreclosed home sales were priced at a discounted $91,000. A year ago the discounted price was $85,000.

Crawford County reported a non-distressed median price of $111,000, down from $119,000 a year ago. The distressed median price of $81,000 was flat with a year ago.

REGIONAL HOME SALES
Distressed properties are not harming the overall residential market in Northwest Arkansas or the Fort Smith area, according to the recent Arkansas Home Sales Report.

October home sales totaled 567 in Northwest Arkansas, up 12.72% compared to October 2012, and up 34.36% compared to October 2011. In the Fort Smith area, home sales totaled 149, up 15.5% compared to October 2012, and up 14.6% compared to October 2011.

The value of the sales during October were up 10.49% in Northwest Arkansas, but down 5.99% in the Fort Smith region.

For the first 10 months of 2013, the number of homes sold in Northwest Arkansas is up 18.74% and up 8.33% in the Fort Smith area.

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NATIONAL NUMBERS
The national median sales price of all residential properties — including distressed and non-distressed sales — was $170,000, unchanged from September but up 6% from October 2012. It was 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% 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,” Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, said in a statement. “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.”

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