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Home prices decline

Home prices are falling in most major U.S. cities, and the average prices in four of them are at their lowest point in 11 years.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city index released Tuesday shows price declines in 19 cities from December to January. Eleven of them are at their lowest level since the housing bust, in 2006 and 2007. The index fell for the sixth straight month.

Home values in Atlanta, Las Vegas, Detroit and Cleveland are now below January 2000 levels.

The only market where prices rose was Washington, where homes prices gained 0.1 percent month over month.

“The housing market recession is not yet over, and none of the statistics are indicating any form of sustained recovery,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s.

The pain is not uniform, however. It is worse in cities where foreclosures and short sales are dominating the market and pushing home prices down. That includes Detroit and Cleveland, which are struggling with weak local economies. Miami, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Atlanta are reeling from overbuilding during the housing boom.

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Unemployment still remains high

The Kentucky Department of Labor has released the employment statistics for February.  See below.

“Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate remained at 10.4 percent from January 2011 to February 2011, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

The preliminary February 2011 jobless rate is .5 percentage point lower than the 10.9 percent rate recorded in February 2010 for the state. The 10.4 percent rate recorded in February 2011 is the highest rate since May 2010 when it was 10.4 percent.”

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Foreclosure sales price gap

As one might expect due to the large amount of defaults in the last two years, Nevada, Arizona, and California grabbed the lion’s share of foreclosure sales. Nevada continued to have the highest percentage of foreclosure sales with 57 percent of all residential sales being foreclosures. That was still down from a peak of 67 percent of all sales in 2009.

Arizona followed with foreclosure sales accounting for 49 percent of all sales in 2010, which was still down from 54 percent in 2009. California was third with foreclosure sales accounting for 44 percent of all sales in 2010, down from a peak of 57 percent in 2009.

Rounding out the top ten were Florida (36 percent), Michigan (33 percent), Georgia (29 percent), Idaho (28 percent), Oregon (28 percent), Illinois (26 percent), and Virginia (25 percent).

Ten states also posted foreclosure discounts of over 35 percent in 2010. The highest was Ohio where foreclosures sold for an average of nearly 43 percent less than non-foreclosed properties. Kentucky was next with an average discount of more than 40 percent, with the other eight states being Tennessee, California, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey, Michigan, Georgia and Wisconsin.

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Foreclosures account for about 20% of homes sold in Ohio

More evidence emerged today that Ohio’s housing market is actually two markets: one made up of conventional homes and one consisting of foreclosed properties.

Figures released by the foreclosure-listing service RealtyTrac show a tremendous price gap between foreclosed sales and conventional sales in the state.

During the fourth quarter of 2010, foreclosed homes in Ohio sold on average for $79,611, which is 43percent less than the $138,740 fetched by homes that had not been foreclosed on.

Only Kentucky showed a higher gap between foreclosed- and conventional-home prices.

Overall, foreclosures accounted for 21 percent of Ohio home sales during the period, according to RealtyTrac.

Distressed sales, which include foreclosures and “short sales,” account for about 37percent of all sales, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Even though there’s a big gap between foreclosed prices and conventional prices, foreclosures can affect the price of other sales because such sales are used to set the value of other properties.

More from the Columbus Dispatch.

Foreclosure homes account for 26% of homes sold in 2010

RealtyTrac, a leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, released its Year-End and Q4 2010 U.S. Foreclosure Sales Report, which shows that foreclosure homes accounted for nearly 26% of all U.S. residential sales during the year, down from 29% of all sales in 2009 but up from 23% of all sales in 2008. The report also shows that the average sales price of these foreclosure properties was more than 28% below the average sales price of properties not in the foreclosure process—up from a 27% average discount in 2009 and a 22% average discount in 2008.

A total of 831,574 U.S. residential properties either owned by banks or in some stage of foreclosure—default or scheduled for auction—sold to third parties in 2010, a decrease of 31% from 2009 and a decrease of nearly 14% from 2008. Meanwhile, sales volume of non-foreclosure properties in 2010 decreased nearly 19% from 2009 and nearly 27% from 2008.

A total of 149,303 foreclosure sales were recorded in the fourth quarter, down 22% from the previous quarter and down 45% from the fourth quarter of 2009—despite a 21% monthly uptick in foreclosure sales volume in December. Mirroring the year-end statistics, foreclosure sales in the fourth quarter accounted for 26% of total sales, and foreclosure properties sold for an average sales price that was 28% below the average sales price of properties not in foreclosure.

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Foreclosure sales by type
A total of 512,886 bank-owned (REO) properties sold to third parties in 2010—down nearly 32% from 2009—at an average discount of 36%, up from an average discount of 33% in 2009. REO sales accounted for 16% of all sales in 2010, down from nearly 18% of all sales in 2009 but still higher than the 13% of all sales they accounted for in 2008.

In the fourth quarter, a total of 95,683 REO properties sold to third parties, down 17% from the third quarter and down 43% from the fourth quarter of 2009. Fourth quarter REO sales accounted for nearly 17% of all sales during the quarter at an average discount of nearly 37%.

A total of 318,688 pre-foreclosure properties—in default or scheduled for auction—sold to third parties in 2010, down nearly 30% from 2009. Pre-foreclosure properties in 2010 sold at an average discount of 15%, down from an average discount of nearly 17% in 2009. Pre-foreclosure sales accounted for nearly 10% of all sales in 2010, down from nearly 11% of all sales in 2009 and virtually the same percentage of sales as in 2008.

In the fourth quarter, a total of 53,620 pre-foreclosure properties sold to third parties, down 29% from the previous quarter and down 49% from the fourth quarter of 2009. Fourth quarter pre-foreclosure sales accounted for nearly 10% of all sales during the quarter at an average discount of nearly 13%.

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