Home price purchases were mixed month-over-month in May, with non-distressed prices up and short sales down, according to the Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse tracking survey.
From April to May, transactions reported by HousingPulse survey respondents revealed the average price for non-distressed properties rose 1.7 percent, while the average price for short sales fell 0.7 percent. For damaged REOs, the average price went up 1.8 percent and for move-in ready REOs, the average price dropped 1.5 percent.
The stabilization of home prices seen in some instances is due to a shortage of inventory, HousingPulse reported. These shortages are led by underwater homeowners who are holding onto their homes until home prices move up.
Also, for distressed properties, thereâ€™s a shortage of inventory due to slower processing of foreclosures by mortgage servicers, according to HousingPulse.
Move-in ready REO properties are in demand and sat on the market for an average of 10.6 weeks in May, the lowest of any property category.
Using a three-month moving average, the HousingPulse Distressed Property Index (DPI) revealed that the share of distressed properties in the housing market in May was 46.1 percent. This marks the 27th consecutive month in which the DPI hovered above 40 percent.
Anecdotal evidence also suggests that the shortage is especially prevalent in California.
One realtor in the state said that inventory in Orange County was â€œsuper lowâ€ and the monthsâ€™ supply of unsold homes is down to just 45 days.
Another California agent said that inventory in the Santa Clarita Valley, which is 35 miles north of Los Angeles, is very low, and reported less than 500 listings, which is well below the 1,500-1,800 properties the agent stated is the average.
The Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey includes approximately 2,500 real estate agents nationwide each month.