June 12, 2012 (Shirley Allen)

Monthly sales of new and existing homes in the Portland area climbed in April as a record percentage of investors scooped up nearly one-third of the homes sold in the area during the month according to real estate information provider DataQuick.

A total of 2,489 new and resale homes and condos closed escrow in the Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton metro area in April. Sales were 4.5 percent higher than in March and 8.4 percent higher than in April of 2011.

Home sales in the region typically increase 2.4 percent between March and April but were 30.6 percent lower than the historical average for the month. It was the tenth consecutive month that home sales in the area improved year-over-year.

Cash buyers accounted for 24.6 percent of the purchases in April, down from 27.3 percent in March and 28.6 percent the previous year. Cash buyers paid a median price of $160,000 for the homes that they purchased during the month which was down from $170,000 in March and down from $171,000 in April of last year.

Absentee buyers, usually investors and vacation home buyer’s, accounted for a record 31.8 percent of all homes sold in April paying a median price of $192,750. That was up from 26.8 percent of all homes sold in March at a median price of $193,320 and up from 18.9 percent of all homes sold in April of last year at a price of $168,250.

The overall median price paid for new and resale homes and condos in April was $215,000, up 2.4 from March and up 1.4 percent from April of last year.

The current median price is 25.6 percent below the peak median price of $289,000 in October 2007.

Distressed sales accounted for 39.8 percent of the resale market in April with foreclosure re-sales accounting for 26.0 percent of the distressed sales, unchanged from the previous month, while short sales accounted for 13.8 percent of the distressed sales, also unchanged from March.

Foreclosures fell in April with lenders foreclosing on 333 single-family homes and condos, down 12.1 percent from March and down 6.7 percent from April of 2011.

Tags: DataQuick, existing home sales, Portland, distressed properties, resale homes, condos, cash buyers, investors, median price