Has the Pinellas County real estate market stabilized?  That depends on how you interpret the information.  Although these numbers are for Pinellas County, they also apply to the Palm Harbor real estate and the Dunedin real estate markets as well, since these make up a significant part of Pinellas County real estate.

In November 2009, 28% of the houses sold in Pinellas County were distressed properties.  In December, 31% of the houses sold were distressed properties and in January 2010, 40% of the houses sold were distressed properties.  An eye popping percentage of distressed properties make up the pending sales for November, December and January.  In November, 68% of all pending sales were distressed, in December it was 72% and January 69% of ALL pending sales were distressed properties.

Pricing is also being impacted by distressed properties in the Pinellas County real estate market.  In November, the median price for a bank owned house was $85,500 while the pre-foreclosure price was $140,000 and the non-distressed price was $141,000.  For December the bank owned median prices were $74,600 vs. pre-foreclosure at $128,000 and non-distressed houses at $150,000.  And in January, the median bank owned prices were $84,000 while the pre-foreclosure prices were $130,000 and the non-distressed prices were $135,000.  Thus, the numbers show that the disparity between pre-foreclosure and non-distressed house prices is narrowing monthly.  This is partly because the banks want short sales to be at or very near to market value.  The spread between bank owned and other prices is because the bank owned houses are generally in worse condition and the bank has determined what it needs to get out of the deal, with no negotiation. 

The advantage to a bank owned sale is that it can happen quickly.  A short sale can take months.  Non-distressed properties tend to be in better condition and are relatively quick to close - thus can maintain a higher value.  This is changing because so much of the Pinellas County real estate market comprises of distressed properties that these become the market.  The number of houses being sold is on the rise, in the Palm Harbor and Dunedin real estate markets.  At the same time, the prices are at best flat or still going down.  Thus, the Pinellas County real estate market may be nearly stabilized, but still has a little way to go before anyone will step up and state the bottom has been hit and we are recovering.

To learn more about distressed properties, visit www.SunBayStopsForeclosure.com.  This site goes into details about short sales, foreclosure, deed in lieu and other distressed property issues.