Only 10% of Current Home Sales are Normal, Buyer-Seller-Realtor Sales
The market for home purchases can be divided into segments of 26% for damaged REO, 23% for move-in ready REO, 14% for short sales, and [only!] 36% for non-distressed properties. [REO means "real estate owned," typically by a bank as a result of a foreclosure.]
43% of homebuyers are first-time homebuyers, 29% are current homeowners (relocation or retirement homes), and another 29% are investors.
Only 31% of non-REO home sale listings are unforced or optional; other major reasons for listings include financial stress (including short sales), long distance relocation, and divorce or estate sales.
Think about that for a minute. Two-thirds of home sales are either foreclosures or banks taking a loss on the mortgage. Of the remaining 36%, only 10% are as a result of something we could call a normal selling process. (nationwide)
--- John Mauldin Letter, 8.14.09, here for subscription