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How Distressed Homes Went From Prominence to Nonexistence

by Peter Thomas Ricci

Distressed home sales were once the most visible characteristic of the housing market, but they’ve taken a much-desired back seat in recent months.

Buried in NAR’s latest existing-home sales report was a precious nugget of housing news – in March 2014, distressed home sales accounted for just 14 percent of all sales. That’s a 38 percent decline from a year ago, and is the strongest sign yet that housing, as it rids itself of distressed inventory, is on a solid path to recovery.

That 14 percent, though, got us thinking – just how far have distressed home sales fallen in the last three years? To find out, we combed through old NAR data and put together the following chart, which tracks distressed home sale percentages from March 2011 to the present day.

The results, as you can see, are highly encouraging:

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