Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance: Fewer Homeowners, More Distressed Properties

Nearly half of the housing market nationwide was distressed properties and there has been a slowdown for owner-occupant activity in March, according to the latest monthly Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey.

The survey’s distressed property index rose to 48.6% last month, the second highest level seen over the past year. National real estate agents said they believe this trend is going to continue due to a backlog of foreclosures and mortgage defaults that still exist in the industry.

The homebuyer traffic index revealed that from February to March, there were fewer current homeowners and first-time homebuyers, as both indexes went down from 52.5% to 52.1%, respectively. However, the HTI for investors was nearly flat, as there was a 0.1% monthly increase.

According to the survey, short sales increased in March to a record-high 19.6% from 17%, while damaged REO fell from 14.9% in February to 12% last month.

“Because damaged REO has the worst effect on comparables used for appraisals, smaller amounts of damaged REO should affect appraisals less in future months,” Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance said.

More than 3,000 real estate agents throughout the nation provide information on home sales and mortgage usage patterns to determine the statistics in the survey.