Evidence of the housing recovery continues to mount.<@SM>Total short sales, REOs and foreclosure auction sales, while not as low as in 2013, are on the decline.

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IRVINE, CA—The number of short sales and foreclosure sales combined on US residential properties accounts for the lowest share of sales year-to-date, according to a report from RealtyTrac. The combined total of these sales accounted for 15.6% of all sales in April, down from 16.5% of all sales in March, and down from 17.2% of all sales in April 2013.

The news follows other indications from the firm of the housing market‘s continuing recovery. As GlobeSt.com reported earlier this week, the median sales price of US residential properties increased 4% in April over the previous month and 11% from April 2013—the biggest year-over-year increase since US median prices bottomed out in March 2012, according to RealtyTrac. The average price is now at its highest level since December 2008, and prices have surpassed pre-recession levels in 19% of major US counties.

Metro areas with the highest share of combined short sales and distressed sales were Las Vegas;; Stockton, CA; Modesto, CA; Lakeland, FL; Orlando; and Cleveland, the firm reports.

Short sales nationwide accounted for 5.2% of all sales in April, down from 5.5% of all sales in March and down from 6.3% of all sales in April 2013. Metros with the highest percentage of short sales in April were Orlando; Lakeland, FL; Tampa; Palm Bay, FL; and Las Vegas.

Sales of bank-owned properties nationwide accounted for 9.2% of all sales in April, down from 9.7% of all sales in March and down from 10% of all sales in April 2013. Metros with the highest percentage of REO seals in April were Modesto, CA; Stockton, CA; Las Vegas; Akron, OH; Dayton, OH; and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario in Southern California.

Foreclosure-auction sales are also declining, RealtyTrac reports. Sales at the public foreclosure auction accounted for 1.2% of all sales nationwide in April, down from 1.3% of all sales in March, but still up from 0.8% of all sales in April 2013. Metros with the highest percentage of foreclosure auction sales in April were Lakeland, FL; Orlando; Atlanta; Miami; Las Vegas; and Jacksonville, FL

The news of declining short sales and distressed sales, along with rising prices, presents a positive picture of the housing market. According to Chris Pollinger, SVP of sales at First Team Real Estate, which covers the Southern California market, “The rise in median price has offset the reduction in inventory to provide a stable overall market.”

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