August 5, 2011 (Shirley Allen)

Home sales in Portland improved from May to June but were at the second lowest level for a June since 1994 as new home sales fell to their lowest level on record according to real estate information provider DataQuick.

A total of 2,777 new and resale homes and condos closed escrow in the Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton metro area in June. Sales were 15.2 percent higher than May, but were 7.7 percent lower than June of 2010.

Home sales in the region typically increase 9.4 percent between May and June, but this month’s sales were still 34.8 percent below the average June sales amount of 4,260. On a year-over-year basis, sales have now fallen for 12 consecutive months with sales of new homes reaching a record low in June.

Cash buyers were responsible for 26.8 percent of the purchases in June and paid a median price of $168,500 for those homes.

Absentee buyers, usually investors and vacation home buyer’s, accounted for 18.9 percent of all homes sold in June paying a median price of $169,350.

The overall median price paid for new and resale homes and condos in June was $215,000, which was down 0.8 percent from May and down 8.5 percent from June of last year.

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

Distressed sales represented 37.5 percent of the resale market in June as foreclosures accounted for 25.0 percent of the distressed sales and short sales accounted for 12.5 percent of the distressed sales.

Foreclosures jumped up in June as lenders foreclosed on 456 single-family homes and condos, up 17.2 percent in May, but down 22.8 percent from June of 2010. Foreclosures are down 22.8 percent during the first six months of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010.

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