Motivated sales — defined as sales to third parties at foreclosure auctions and sales of foreclosed homes by financial institutions and foreclosure service firms — accounted for about one-third of all transactions in 25 metro areas tracked by data and analytics company Radar Logic, according to a report for January 2009 released this month.

Radar Logic noted that the growth of motivated sales as a share of total transactions contributed to a 23 percent year-over-year decline in a composite price-per-square-foot index (the RPX index) for the 25 metro areas tracked from January 2008 to January 2009.

And the volume of motivated sales grew 119 percent from January 2008 to January 2009 in the reported market areas, according to the monthly.

The decline in home sales slowed to 6 percent on a year-over-year basis in January for the 25 market areas, compared to 36 percent from January 2007 to January 2008.

Radar Logic reported that home prices fell in 24 of 25 metro areas tracked from January 2008 to January 2009.

Phoenix had the largest year-over-year index decline in January, falling 36.9 percent from January 2008 to January 2009 — that compares to a 14.6 percent drop from January 2007 to January 2008.

Year-over-year price dynamics improved in Milwaukee, St. Louis and Sacramento. In Milwaukee, home prices increased 1 percent from January 2008 to January 2009. In Sacramento, one of the worst performing metro areas tracked by Radar Logic during the housing crisis, the year-over-year decline in price per square foot was 27 percent.

The year-over-year decline in the RPX price for St. Louis slowed from 7.6 percent in January 2008 to 6.5 percent in January 2009.

Since 2000, total sales transactions tracked across the 25 MSAs have generally fallen from September through January on a month-over-month basis, Radar Logic reported, due to seasonal trends in the real estate market.

Transactions across all 25 MSAs fell 17 percent in January, which was larger than the 5 percent decline in the same period a year earlier, but the price decline last January was smaller than average for that time of year and the decline this January was within historical norms, according to the report.

A separate monthly home-price report, the Standard and Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released last month, revealed that prices were down for all 20 cities in one price index on a year-over-year and month-to-month basis in January — and that average home prices had returned to 2003 levels (see Inman News).

Katie Ramsey

***

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