Nearly half of the housing market is now distressed properties

HousingPulse Distressed Property Index Rises for Month; Homebuyer Traffic Flattens

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 25) – The HousingPulse Distressed Property Index (DPI), a key indicator of the health of the U.S. housing market, rose to 48.6 percent in March – the second highest level seen in the past 12 months. In another potentially significant development, the HousingPulse Homebuyer Traffic Index (HTI) registered a slowdown for owner-occupant activity during March.


The HousingPulse DTI indicated that nearly half of the housing market is now distressed properties. This trend is likely to continue as a backlog of foreclosures and mortgage defaults make their way through the housing pipeline.
The HousingPulse HTIs for both current homeowners and first-time homebuyers tracked each other from February to March, both falling from 52.5 to 52.1. Meanwhile, the HTI for investors was nearly flat, registering 57.1 in February and 57.2 in March.

In a positive sign, short sales boomed in the month of March and the proportion of damaged REO fell. Short sales rose from 17.0% in February to a record-high 19.6% in March. Damaged REO fell from 14.9% in February to 12.0% in March. Because damaged REO has the worst effect on comparables used for appraisals, smaller amounts of damaged REO should affect appraisals less in future months.

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