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Home sales slow to begin during 2011

One index showed slowed home sales, median prices thus far in 2011.

One index showed slowed home sales, median prices thus far in 2011.

Radar Logic Incorporated recently released a new report that showed home sales thus far in 2011 have been slow. Furthermore, median prices of available homes have also dropped slightly, as more foreclosure activity takes place.

The company's March 2011 RPX Monthly Housing Market Report revealed that sales during March, which oftentimes boosts national home sales, were fewer than years past. In fact, according to the company's RPX Composite transaction count, sales during March were the lowest they've been since Radar began recording data.

Sales for foreclosed properties, however, fared better during the month. Radar's RPX Composite motived transaction count, which tracks all foreclosed home sales by financial firms or auctions, showed distressed property sales were up slightly, just behind their national average gain during the last four years. All other sales, by comparison, were up by less than half their usual gain during the same period.

"Investment buyers are driving sales of foreclosed homes, but they have largely ignored the rest of the market," said Quinn Eddins, director of research at Radar Logic. "On average, foreclosed homes are priced at a 39 percent discount to other homes. Investors believe they can purchase these properties at a significant discount to their future value. Sellers in the rest of the market have not lowered their prices to levels where investors feel confident they can make an adequate return on their investment."

Radar also found its RPX Composite price index was down during March as well. During 2008 and 2009, the index showed an average gain of 1.5 percent in home sales. However, during 2011, the index decreased, moving down to an average of 0.5 percent.