LAS VEGAS -- Nevada posted the nation's highest percentages of residential sales in December that involved both bank-owned property and short sales, RealtyTrac reported Wednesday night.
Bank-owned property, which includes homes repossessed by lenders, made up 18.9 percent of all residential sales statewide while short sales made up 15.3 percent.
Short sales and foreclosure-related sales accounted for 16.2 percent of all residential sales nationally in 2013, up from 14.5 percent in 2012.
"It may surprise some to see distressed sales rising in 2013 given that new foreclosure activity dropped to a seven-year low for the year," RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist said. "And while short sales did trend lower in the second half of the year, there are still more than 1.2 million properties in the foreclosure process or bank-owned, providing a sizable pool of inventory that the housing market is in the process of absorbing.
"Meanwhile, non-distressed sellers have not listed their homes for sale in droves, helping to keep the distressed share of sales at a stubbornly high level."
The real estate analytics company from Irvine, Calif., reported that Las Vegas ranked sixth among large metropolitan areas with 18.2 percent of its residential sales last month involving purchases from institutional investors. RealtyTrac defines such investors as those who purchased at least 10 properties over the past year.
RealtyTrac also reported that Nevada posted a median sales price in December of $161,000, only 1 percent higher than the previous month but 24 percent above December 2012 prices. The median sales price in Las Vegas last month was $159,000, also 1 only percent above November but 25 percent higher than in December 2012.
But residential sales volume in Nevada was down 9 percent from a year ago. Only four other states -- Arizona, California, Oregon and Rhode Island -- also posted declines.