California June Home Sales

July 16, 2014

http://dqnewspressreleases.blogspot.com/2014/07/june-california-home-sale-press-release.html

An estimated 39,254 new and resale houses and condos sold statewide in June. That was up 4.0 percent from 37,734 in May, and down 4.3 percent from 41,027 sales in June 2013, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.

June sales have varied from a low of 35,202 in 2008 to a high of 76,669 in 2004. Last month’s sales were 19.8 percent below the average of 48,929 sales for all the months of June since 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics begin. California sales have not been above average for any particular month in more than eight years.

The median price paid for a home in California last month was $393,000, up 1.8 percent from $386,000 in May and up 11.6 percent from $352,000 in June 2013. Last month’s median was the highest for any month since December 2007, when it was $402,000. Last month was the 28th consecutive month in which the state’s median sale price rose year-over-year.

In March/April/May 2007 the median peaked at $484,000. The post-peak trough was $221,000 in April 2009.

Of the existing homes sold last month, 5.8 percent were properties that had been foreclosed on during the past year. That was down from a revised 5.9 percent in May and down from 9.8 percent a year earlier. Foreclosure resales peaked at 58.8 percent in February 2009.

Short sales – transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property – made up an estimated 5.2 percent of the homes that resold last month. That was down from an estimated 6.3 percent the month before and 13.9 percent a year earlier.

The typical monthly mortgage payment that California buyers committed themselves to paying last month was $1,530, up from $1,508 the month before and up from $1,356 a year earlier. Adjusted for inflation, last month’s payment was 35.1 percent below the typical payment in spring 1989, the peak of the prior real estate cycle. It was 47.4 percent below the current cycle’s peak in June 2006. It was 62.9 percent above the January 2012 bottom of the current cycle.

DataQuick monitors real estate activity nationwide and provides information to consumers, educational institutions, public agencies, lending institutions, title companies and industry analysts. DataQuick was acquired in March by Irvine-based CoreLogic, a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled services provider.

Indicators of market distress continue to decline. Foreclosure activity remains well below year-ago and peak levels reached in the last five years. Financing with multiple mortgages is low, while down payment sizes are stable, DataQuick reported.

Source: DataQuick; DQNews.com

Copyright DataQuick. All rights reserved.

Southland Home Sales Down from Last Year Again; Price Gains Throttle Back

July 15, 2014

http://dqnewspressreleases.blogspot.com/2014/07/june-southland-home-sale-press-release.html

La Jolla, CA—Southern California homes sold at the slowest pace for a June in three years as investor purchases fell again and other would-be buyers continued to struggle with inventory and affordability constraints. The median price paid for a home rose to its highest level in 77 months but the single-digit gain from a year earlier was the smallest in two years, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 20,654 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was up 5.6 percent from 19,556 sales in May, and down 4.4 percent from 21,608 sales in June last year, according to DataQuick, which is owned by Irvine-based CoreLogic, a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled services provider.

On average, sales have increased 6.4 percent between May and June since 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics begin. Sales have fallen on a year-over-year basis for nine consecutive months. Sales during the month of June have ranged from a low of 18,032 in June 2008 to a high of 40,156 in June 2005. Last month was 23.7 percent below the June average of 27,069 sales. Sales haven’t been above the long-term average for more than eight years.

“Pent-up demand, job growth and still-low mortgage rates continue to put pressure on home prices. But they’re climbing at a much slower pace than a year ago. In many markets price appreciation has slipped into the more sustainable single-digit range, compared with gains exceeding 20 percent this time last year. Why the drop-off? The supply of homes for sale, while still low in an historical context, is higher this year, and the decline in affordability serves as gravity for home prices. People can’t stretch with exotic and risky loans the way they could during the last housing boom,” said Andrew LePage, a DataQuick analyst.

“Many of the market indicators we track continue to ease toward normalcy,” he added. “For example, the use of larger, so-called jumbo loans is up significantly this year, as is the use of adjustable-rate mortgages. Distressed property sales are way down and, related to that, investor and cash purchases are trending lower, toward more normal levels.”

The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the six-county region last month was $415,000, up 1.2 percent from $410,000 in May and up 7.8 percent from $385,000 in June 2013. While last month’s median was the highest since it was also $415,000 in January 2008, the 7.8 percent year-over-year gain was the lowest since June 2012, when the $300,000 median rose 5.3 percent.

The Southland median has risen on a year-over-year basis for 27 straight months. But June marked the end of the median’s 22-month streak of double-digit year-over-year gains, which peaked at 28.3 percent in June last year.

Last month three counties – San Diego, Los Angeles and Ventura – logged single-digit, year-over-year gains in their median sale prices.

The Southland’s June median stood 17.8 percent below the peak $505,000 median in spring/summer 2007.

San Diego-based DataQuick monitors real estate activity nationwide and provides information to consumers, educational institutions, public agencies, lending institutions, title companies and industry analysts. CoreLogic acquired DataQuick in March.

Last month home prices continued to rise at different rates depending on price segment. In June, the lowest-cost third of the region’s housing stock saw a 17.1 percent year-over-year increase in the median price paid per square foot for resale houses. The annual gain was 10.8 percent for the middle third of the market and 5.2 percent for the top, most-expensive third.

The number of homes that sold for $500,000 or more last month rose 1.9 percent from one year earlier, while sales below $500,000 fell 12.8 percent year-over-year. Sales below $200,000 tumbled 36.0 percent.

In June, 37.3 percent of all Southland home sales were for $500,000 or more, down a tad from a revised 37.9 percent in May, which was the highest level since $500,000-plus deals made up 38.3 percent of sales in December 2007. In June last year 33.7 percent of sales crossed the $500,000 threshold.

The market impact of distressed properties continued to fade in June.

Foreclosure resales – homes foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – accounted for 5.3 percent of the Southland resale market last month. That was up slightly from a revised 5.0 percent the prior month and down from 9.0 percent a year earlier. In recent months the foreclosure resale rate has been the lowest since early 2007. In the current cycle, foreclosure resales hit a high of 56.7 percent in February 2009.

Short sales – transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property – made up an estimated 6.0 percent of Southland resales last month. That was down from a revised 6.4 percent the prior month and down from 14.5 percent a year earlier.

Absentee buyers – mostly investors and some second-home purchasers – bought 23.6 percent of the Southland homes sold last month. That was the lowest share since December 2010, when 23.4 percent of homes sold to absentee buyers. Last month’s 23.6 percent absentee share was down from 24.9 percent in May and down from 29.0 percent a year earlier. The peak was 32.4 percent in January 2013, while the monthly average since 2000, when the absentee data begin, is about 19 percent.

Cash purchases dropped to the lowest level in four years last month. Buyers paying cash accounted for 25.1 percent of June home sales, down from 26.4 percent the month before and down from 31.2 percent in June last year. The last time cash purchases were lower than last month was in June 2010, when 24.2 percent of Southland homes were bought with cash. The peak was 36.9 percent in February 2013, and since 1988 the monthly average is 16.6 percent.

In June, Southern California home buyers forked over a total of $4.58 billion of their own money in the form of down payments or cash purchases. That was down from a revised $4.82 billion in May. The out-of-pocket total peaked in May 2013 at $5.41 billion.

Credit conditions have generally improved this year, with significant changes compared with this time last year.

Jumbo loans, mortgages above the old conforming limit of $417,000, accounted for 32.2 percent of last month’s Southland purchase lending – the highest jumbo level for any month since the credit crunch struck in August 2007. Last month’s figure was up from 32.0 percent in May and up from 28.6 percent a year earlier. Prior to August 2007 jumbos accounted for around 40 percent of the home loan market. The jumbo level dropped to as low as 9.3 percent in January 2009.

In June, 13.9 percent of Southland home purchase loans were adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), down from 14.9 percent in May and up from 9.3 percent a year ago. ARM use dropped to as low as 1.9 percent of all purchase loans in May 2009. Since 2000, a monthly average of about 31 percent of Southland purchase loans have been ARMs.

All lenders combined provided a total of $6.6 billion in mortgage money to Southern California home buyers in June, up from a revised $6.26 billion in May and up from $6.08 billion in June last year. Last month’s figure was the highest since August 2007, when it was $7.92 billion.

The most active lenders to Southern California home buyers last month were Wells Fargo with 7.0 percent of the total home purchase loan market, Bank of America with 3.1 percent and New American Funding Lending with 2.3 percent.

Government-insured FHA loans, a popular low-down-payment choice among first-time buyers, accounted for 18.9 percent of all purchase mortgages last month. That was down from 19.0 percent the month before and down from 19.4 percent a year earlier. In recent months the FHA share has been the lowest since early 2008, mainly because of tighter FHA qualifying standards and the difficulties first-time buyers have competing with investors and cash buyers.

The typical monthly mortgage payment Southland buyers committed themselves to paying last month was $1,616, up from $1,602 the month before and up from $1,483 a year earlier. Adjusted for inflation, last month’s typical payment was 34.1 percent below the typical payment in the spring of 1989, the peak of the prior real estate cycle. It was 46.0 percent below the current cycle’s peak in July 2007.

Indicators of market distress continue to decline. Foreclosure activity remains well below year-ago and far below peak levels. Financing with multiple mortgages is very low, and down payment sizes are stable, DataQuick reported.

To view the county-by-county home sale chart, visit DQNews.com.

Source: DQNews.com Media calls: Andrew LePage (916) 456-7157

Copyright 2014 DataQuick. All rights reserved.

California Foreclosure Starts Lowest Since 2005

July 17, 2014

DQ News

http://dqnewspressreleases.blogspot.com/2014/07/2q14-california-foreclosure-activity.html

La Jolla, CA.–The number of California homes entering the formal foreclosure process last quarter dropped to the lowest level since late 2005, the result of a stronger economy and higher home values, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 17,524 Notices of Default (NoDs) were recorded at county recorders offices during the April-through-June period. That was down 8.8 percent from 19,215 in the prior quarter, and down 31.9 percent from 25,747 in second-quarter 2013, according to DataQuick, which is owned by Irvine-based CoreLogic, a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled services provider.

Last quarter’s NoD tally was the lowest since fourth-quarter 2005, when 15,337 NoDs were recorded. NoD filings peaked in first-quarter 2009 at 135,431. DataQuick’s NoD statistics go back to 1992.

“It looks like the mortgage servicers doing the foreclosure paperwork are systematically working through a backlog. While their pile is getting smaller, they’re working at a steady pace. With one exception, the number of NoDs we’ve seen filed each quarter over the last year-and-a-half hasn’t changed much, and probably just reflects staffing and workload logistics,” said John Karevoll, DataQuick analyst.

In first quarter 2013 California saw 18,568 NoDs filed. In last year’s second quarter the number was 25,747. In third quarter 2013 it was 20,314. Fourth quarter was 18,120. In first quarter 2014 the tally was 19,215, and last quarter it was 17,524.

“The relatively high NoD tally in second quarter last year reflected a one-time bump because of deferred activity and policy change. Otherwise the quarterly flow of NoDs since early last year has been remarkably flat, and probably doesn’t reflect any meaningful changes in trends. The overall trend is that homeowner distress continues to decline because of a stronger economy and rising home prices,” Karevoll said.

Most of the loans going into default are still from the 2005-2007 period. The median origination quarter for defaulted loans is still third-quarter 2006. That has been the case for more than five years, indicating that weak underwriting standards peaked then.

On primary mortgages, California homeowners were a median 12.0 months behind on their payments when the lender filed the Notice of Default. The borrowers owed a median $27,601 on a median $309,083 mortgage.

On home equity loans and lines of credit in default, borrowers owed a median $6,992 on a median $66,150 credit line. The amount of the credit line that was actually in use cannot be determined from public records.

The most active “beneficiaries” in the formal foreclosure process last quarter were Wells Fargo (2,195), Bank of America (1,763) and Nationstar (1,047).

The trustees who pursued the highest number of defaults last quarter were Quality Loan Service Corp (for Wells Fargo and others), MTC Financial (Bank of America, Greentree, JP Morgan Chase) and Sage Point Lender Services (Nationstar, Bank of New York, US Bank and OneWest Bank).

San Diego-based DataQuick monitors real estate activity nationwide and provides information to consumers, educational institutions, public agencies, lending institutions, title companies and industry analysts. CoreLogic acquired DataQuick in March. Notices of Default are recorded at county recorders offices and mark the first step of the formal foreclosure process.

Although 17,524 default notices were filed last quarter, they involved 17,105 homes because some borrowers were in default on multiple loans (e.g. a primary mortgage and a line of credit).

Among the state’s larger counties, loans were least likely to go into default last quarter in San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties. The probability was highest in Madera, Tulare and Fresno counties.

Trustees Deeds recorded (TDs), or the final loss of a home to the foreclosure process, totaled 7,392 last quarter – the lowest level for any quarter since 6,078 TDs were filed in fourth-quarter 2006. The all-time peak was 79,511 foreclosures in third-quarter 2008. The state’s all-time low was 637 in second-quarter 2005, DataQuick reported.

On average, homes foreclosed on last quarter took 8.7 months to wind their way through the formal foreclosure process, beginning with an NoD. That’s up from an average of 9.5 months the prior quarter and up from 9.1 months a year earlier.

At formal foreclosure auctions held statewide last quarter, an estimated 41.0 percent of the foreclosed properties were bought by investors or others that don’t appear to be lender or government entities. That was up from an estimated 39.4 percent the previous quarter and down from 54.1 percent a year earlier, DataQuick reported.

Foreclosure resales – properties foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – accounted for 6.1 percent of all California resale activity last quarter. That was down from a revised 7.6 percent the prior quarter and down from 11.5 percent a year ago. Foreclosure resales peaked at 57.8 percent in first-quarter 2009. Among the state’s larger counties last quarter, foreclosure resales varied from 0.9 percent in San Francisco County to 16.3 percent in Madera County.

Short sales – transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property – made up an estimated 5.8 percent of the state’s resale market last quarter. That was down from an estimated 7.5 percent the prior quarter and 13.7 percent a year earlier.

To view the county-by-county Defaults and Foreclosures charts, please visit DQNews.com.

Source: DataQuick; DQNews.com

Media calls: Andrew LePage (916) 456-7157

Copyright 2014 DataQuick. All rights reserved.

Bank-held REO inventory drops 44% since 2011

Non-performing loans have also dropped nearly 50%

In the last two years, private equity firms have spent more than $20 billion on single-family homes, according to a new report released Thursday by national housing activist group Right to the City Alliance entitled Rise of the Corporate Landlord: The Institutionalization of the Single Family Rental Market and its Impact on Renters.

The report, covered by HousingWire here, is critical of the rise of REO-to-rental, in which investors purchase foreclosed properties from banks and turn the properties into rental homes. The following charts measure to which extent the level of bank-held REO is dropping.

The practice has become more common in the last few years, with companies like Invitation Homes andAmerican Homes 4 Rent buying up thousands of homes and selling residential mortgage-backed securities based on the homes mortgages. There have been four RMBS offerings from the two companies in the last two years.

Invitation Homes brought a $1 billion REO-to-rental securitization to market in May, and American Homes 4 Rent launched its first RMBS in May as well.

The evidence of the impact on the amount of real estate owned by banks can be seen in new data fromBankDATAWORKS. According to the report, the total REO inventory held by banks has dropped from $52.55 billion in March 2011 to $29.37 billion in March 2014. That’s a drop of 44%.

Click the chart below (courtesy of BankDATAWORKS) for more information.

Total bank owned REO graph

For single-family homes, the amount of REO inventory has dropped from $10.28 billion to $6.57 billion from March 2012 to March 2014. That’s a drop of 36%.

Click the chart below for a breakdown of REO inventory across various segments, i.e. single-family, commercial, multi-family and others.

Total bank owned REO

Click below to see a breakdown of the drop in non-performing loans. Spoiler alert…it’s substantial.

The amount of non-performing loans held by banks has dropped even more dramatically in the last four years. In March 2010, banks held $334.39 billion in non-performing loans. That figure dropped to $169.51 billion in March 2014, which represents a drop of nearly 50%.

Click the chart below for more information.

Total bank owned NPL graph

Non-performing loans on single-family homes have dropped 26% in the last two years, from $187.23 billion in March 2012 to $138.39 billion in March 2014.

Click the chart below for a breakdown of non-performing loans by segment.

Total bank owned NPL inventory

REO inventory has fallen in each of the top ten local banking markets in the last two years – in one case by 68%. In Houston, REO inventory has dropped from $151.63 million in March 2012 to $49.19 million in March 2014, a drop of 67.55%.

Of the top ten banking markets, Chicago has the most REO inventory, but the total is dropping. In 2012, there was $1.95 billion in REO inventory in Chicago. The figure has fallen to $1.23 billion in 2014, a drop of nearly 37%.

Click the chart below to see how much REO inventory as fallen in each of the top ten banking markets.

Total bank owned REO inventory by city

Chicago doesn’t lead the way in non-performing loans though. In fact, Philadelphia, which ranks first, has more than double the amount of non-performing loans as the next largest city, New York City.

Philadelphia had $7.94 billion of non-performing loans as of March 2014. The figure is down 25% from 2012’s total of $10.63 billion, but it still outpaces New York by over $4 billion.

New York City has $3.81 billion in non-performing loans, down 30% from $5.42 billion in 2012.

Click the image below for the full breakdown of the non-performing loan data from the top ten markets.

Total bank owned NPL inventory by city

Housing inventory jumps 11.8% but first-time buyers still locked out

Affordable home inventory shrinking further

locked_house

After plunging throughout 2012 and for much of 2013, and rising only modestly through the beginning of this year, the inventory of all for-sale homes nationwide spiked in May, jumping 11.8% year-over-year according to Zillow(Z).

But most of those gains in inventory were made among homes priced in the middle and top one-third of home values, according to Zillow Real Estate Market Reports.

The number of homes available for sale in the most affordable price bracket, those homes most sought by first-time homebuyers, fell year-over-year in 28 of the nation’s largest metro areas analyzed by Zillow.

“It’s good to see overall inventory rising. It’s likely that many would-be sellers have decided to capitalize on recent home value gains, particularly as the pace slows, and list their home for sale now in order to move into a new home while mortgage interest rates remain low,” said Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries. “But persistent inventory constraints at the low end of the market continue to make it a tough environment for first-time and lower-income homebuyers. Low inventory and high demand can lead to rapid price spikes, which make homes even more difficult to afford for many buyers. Hopefully the inventory gains we’re seeing in the middle and upper tiers of the market will begin trickling down to the most affordable homes soon.”

The total number of homes listed for sale on Zillow in May was up 4.3% over April, and has risen month-over-month in each of the past three months on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Here’s a look at the breakdown by city. Click the image below to see the chart.

Overall inventory of for-sale homes was up year-over-year in 506 (78%) of the more than 600 metro areas analyzed by Zillow. Large metros where inventory has increased the most include Las Vegas (up 51.5% year-over-year), Washington, DC (up 45.7% year-over-year) and Riverside, Calif. (up 42.7% year-over-year).

In addition to low numbers of affordable homes for sale, first-time and lower-income homebuyers armed with traditional financing are also competing with all-cash buyers at the lower end of the market. Zillow reported last week that in 27 of the top 30 metros analyzed by Zillow, more than one third of all sales of the lowest-priced homes were made with cash. In three of the top 30 metros – Tampa, Detroit and Miami – more than 80% of all sales in the lowest price bracket were cash deals.

National home values in May were up 0.1% from April to a Zillow Home Value Index of $172,300, and have now risen for 28 consecutive months.

Year-over-year, U.S. home values rose 5.4% in May, the slowest annual pace of appreciation in more than a year. For the 12-month period from May 2014 to May 2015, national home values are expected to rise another 2.9% to approximately $177,321, according to the Zillow Home Value Forecast.

 

Existing home sales surge 4.9% in May

Is this the light at the end of the tunnel?

Sunshine over sunflowers
In April, existing home sales rose for the first time in 2014.  The rise was a modest 1.3% increase over March’s figures but it still led to headlines like, “Has spring buying season finally arrived?

As it turns out, that headline may just have been prophetic. That’s because May’s existing home sales were even better than April’s. According to newly released data from theNational Association of Realtors, May’s existing home sales rose by nearly 5% over April’s numbers. May’s month-over-month gain of 4.9% was the highest monthly rise since August 2011.

The total existing homes sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops, rose to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.89 million in May. That’s up from the upwardly revised figure of 4.66 million for April. But it’s still 5.5% below May 2013′s total of 5.15 million.

“Home buyers are benefiting from slower price growth due to the much-needed, rising inventory levels seen since the beginning of the year,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Moreover, sales were helped by the improving job market and the temporary but slight decline in mortgage rates.”

NAR’s report also showed that total housing inventory rose 2.2% in May to 2.28 million existing homes available for sale. That represents a 5.6-month supply at the current pace of sales, which is down slightly from 5.7 months in April.

Unsold inventory is 6% higher than it was a year ago, when there were 2.15 million existing homes available for sale.

And the homes that are on the market are priced higher than they were last year. May’s median existing home price for all types of housing was 5.1% above May 2013.

“Rising inventory bodes well for slower price growth and greater affordability, but the amount of homes for sale is still modestly below a balanced market,” Yun said. “Therefore, new home construction is still needed to keep prices and housing supply healthy in the long run.”

NAR also reported that the share of first-time buyers continued to “underperform.” First-time buyers made up less than one-third (27%) of all buyers in May. That’s down from 29% in April.

Perhaps that’s because the number of homes available in the most affordable price bracketfell year-over-year, according to a report from Zillow (Z).

“Many potential buyers were left on the sidelines beginning last summer as affordability declined amidst rising home prices and interest rates,” NAR’s president Steve Brown said. “The temporary pause in rising interest rates and more homes for sale is good news – especially for first-time home buyers – who likely have a better chance in upcoming months to make a competitive offer that’s in return accepted by the seller.”

Brown’s positive view is not shared by Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at Sterne Agee. Piegza suggests that the rise in home prices is going to continue to prevent 2014′s home sales figures from reaching 2013′s levels.
Going forward, rising home prices will continue to exclude many potential homebuyers from entering the market against the backdrop of lackluster income growth and still tepid full-time, high-wage job creation,” Piegza said. “Warmer weather alone is not enough to restore housing market activity — consumers must have an organic ability to finance and afford such a large purchase.”

 

Bay Area Home Sales Constrained by Supply; Prices Continue to Rise

June 12, 2014

http://dqnewspressreleases.blogspot.com/2014/06/may-bay-area-home-sale-press-release.html

La Jolla, CA.—-Bay Area home sales remained below long-term norms in May as potential buyers continued to struggle with a limited inventory, prices near or beyond pre-recession highs, and a home loan environment that, while improved, remains fussy, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 7,898 new and resale houses and condos sold in the nine-county Bay Area last month. That was up 4.5 percent from 7,555 in April and down 7.5 percent from 8,541 in May last year, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.

Bay Area sales almost always increase from April to May. On average they have risen about 7.2 percent between those two months since 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics begin. May sales have ranged from a low of 6,216 in 2008 to a high of 13,567 in 2004. Last month’s sales were 17.4 percent below the May average of 9,558 sales since 1988. Bay Area sales haven’t been above average for any particular month in more than eight years.

“Virtually all the technical indicators are pointing in the direction of more market normalization. We are surprised that the rates of change in that direction remain so pitifully incremental. Right now we’re keeping an eye on prices. While some of the Bay Area counties have already re-reached or passed their pre-recession price peaks, the region as a whole is on pace to reach that point later this summer,” said John Karevoll, DataQuick analyst.

The median price paid for a home in the nine-county Bay Area rose last month to $617,000, the highest since it was $629,000 in November 2007. Last month’s median increased 1.1 percent from $610,000 in April, and rose 18.9 percent from $519,000 in May last year. On a year-over-year basis, the median has increased the last 26 months, with gains as high as 33.5 percent (last July).

The Bay Area’s median peaked at $665,000 in June and July 2007, then dropped to a low of $290,000 in March 2009.

The number of homes sold for less than $500,000 dropped 26.1 percent year-over-year, while the number that sold for more was up 3.3 percent.

A variety of market indicators are trending incrementally toward long-term norms.

Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), an important indicator of mortgage availability, are slowly regaining their foothold in the market. ARMs accounted for 28.8 percent of the Bay Area’s home purchase loans in May, up from a revised 28.5 percent in April, and well up from the 14.1 percent in May last year. Last month’s ARM use was the highest since it was 30.9 percent of all loans in April 2008. ARMs hit a low of 3.0 percent of loans in January 2009. Since 2000, ARMs have accounted for 47.0 percent of all Bay Area purchase loans.

Jumbo loans, mortgages above the old conforming limit of $417,000, accounted for 56.6 percent of last month’s purchase lending, down slightly from a revised 56.9 percent in April, and up from 49.8 percent a year ago. Jumbo usage dropped to as low as 17.1 percent in January 2009.

Government-insured FHA home purchase loans, a popular choice among first-time buyers, accounted for 9.7 percent of all Bay Area home purchase mortgages in May, down from 9.8 percent in April and 9.9 percent a year earlier.

DataQuick was acquired in March by Irvine-based property information company CoreLogic. DataQuick provides information to consumers, educational institutions, public agencies, lending institutions, title companies and industry analysts. Because of late data availability, sales were estimated in Alameda, San Francisco and San Mateo counties.

Last month foreclosure resales – homes that had been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – accounted for 3.1 percent of all resales, down from a revised 3.6 percent the month before, and down from 6.5 percent a year ago. Foreclosure resales peaked at 52.0 percent in February 2009. The monthly average for foreclosure resales over the past 17 years is 9.8 percent.

Short sales – transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property – made up an estimated 4.7 percent of Bay Area resales last month. That was up from an estimated 4.2 percent in April and down from 10.4 percent a year earlier.

Bay Area home buyers put $2.49 billion of their own money on the table last month in the form of a down payment or as an outright cash purchase. That number hit an all-time high of $2.64 billion in May a year ago. Home buyers borrowed $3.51 billion in mortgage money from lenders last month.

The most active lenders to Bay Area home buyers in May were Wells Fargo with 14.1 percent of the purchase loan market, Bank of America with 4.4 percent and RPM Mortgage with 3.7 percent, DataQuick reported.

Last month absentee buyers – mostly investors – purchased 20.5 percent of all Bay Area homes. That was up a hair from April’s revised 20.4 percent and down from 22.4 percent for May a year ago.

Buyers who appear to have paid all cash – meaning no sign of a corresponding purchase loan was found in the public record – accounted for 22.9 percent of sales in May, down from a revised 24.6 percent in April and down from 27.6 percent a year earlier.

The typical monthly mortgage payment that Bay Area buyers committed themselves to paying last month was $2,411. Adjusted for inflation, last month’s payment was 16.7 percent below the typical payment in spring 1989, the peak of the prior real estate cycle. It was 38.5 percent below the current cycle’s peak in July 2007. It was 88.5 percent above the February 2012 bottom of the current cycle.

Indicators of market distress continue to decline. Foreclosure activity remains well below year-ago and far below peak levels. Financing with multiple mortgages is very low, and down payment sizes are stable, DataQuick reported.

To view the county-by-county chart, please visit DQNews.com.