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Foreclosure Homes Sales Climbed Up in the West

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Sales of foreclosure homes powered the increase in total home sales in the West in July, compared to home sales in July 2008, according to data from the National Association of Realtors.

Across Western states in July, total home sales increased by almost 4 percent as home buyers grabbed lower-priced foreclosed homes and as first-time home buyers took advantage of the federal tax credit which is set to expire soon.

Because of the lower foreclosure prices, the median home sales price in Western States dropped to $202,300 in July, a decline of 28 percent.

However, when the July sales are compared to the previous month's sales, the sales performance marked a decrease. IHS Global Insight economist Patrick Newport explained this decline as a result of the significant increase in job losses in the region. In July, the West had an unemployment rate of 10.5 percent.

Across the U.S., home sales in July increased by almost 6 percent compared to July 2008 and also increased by a substantial rate from June. Analysts point to a significant improvement in home affordability as the key reason. The median sales price nationwide dropped by 15 percent to the affordable level of $178,400.

Based on an Associated Press-supported study, many of the large metro areas in the West registered increases in home sales in July compared to July last year. Home sales increased in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Billings in Montana, Boise, Anchorage, Portland in Oregon, and Albuquerque. In contrast, home sales dropped in Honolulu, Seattle and Denver.

The biggest drop in home price occurred in Las Vegas, with the median sales price dropping to $125,000, which marked an over 40 percent decrease. House sales in the city rose by almost 50 percent.

Las Vegas analysts said most of the buyers were first time homebuyers, followed by cash-rich investors who were looking for low-end properties to turn into rental properties. Homes priced at $150,000 are being quickly snapped up by these investors, according to area brokers.

Across California, the inventory of houses for sale is also declining as the lower-priced homes have already been sold in the past months and that properties in the higher end are beginning to move. What are left are properties being sold as short sales and those still in some stage of the foreclosure process.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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