That’s the message from Jim Quinn at The Burning Platform. As much as I would like to disagree with him, he’s right. The reflation of U.S. real estate has been a spectacle to behold, particularly when you consider the
mountains of fraud that were buried fines that were paid and money that was printed along the way to make it possible. By most measures, 2013 was a banner year in terms of U.S. housing, at least as far as prices were concerned. But what about the health of actual market? That’s a question posed by Quinn, and ignored by most in the mainstream media. Lord knows the National Association of Realtors certainly doesn’t want to talk about the real reasons home prices were rising last year.
As the latest data from RealtyTrac show, distressed sales actually rose last year! What? I have to admit I did a double take when I read that statistic, but it’s true. Distressed sales actually rose to 16.2% of U.S. home sales in 2013, up from 14.5% in 2012 and 15.2% in 2011. Here’s the chart to prove it…
How could that be you might ask? I thought prices were rising in just about every part of the country. We know prices have been higher here in Katy And West Houston for sure. But what about the health of overall sales? The truth is that the housing ‘recovery’ is a sham, a picture of health and growth propped up by a façade of institutional investors, all-cash buyers and general market manipulation designed to keep the illusion of a recovery afloat. While 16.2 percent of homes sales were distressed in 2013, all-cash transaction accounted for 29.1 percent of U.S. residential sales, up from 19.4% in 2012 and 20.6% in 2011. This comes at a time when the rate of homeownership has been plummeting. 2013 saw home affordability get pummeled, and this year we get to see just how enthusiastic tapped-out U.S. consumers will be for the available supply of homes. One thing is for certain, current conditions in U.S. housing are anything but normal.