Salient to Investors:

Foreclosure auctions surged last month, signaling lenders are preparing to sell a backlog of distressed properties amid rising home prices. RealtyTrac said total US foreclosure filings are the lowest since December 2006.

S&P/Case-Shiller report prices for single-family homes in the Miami metro area climbed 13 percent in April from a year earlier, but remain 43 percent lower than the peak in December 2006. RealtyTrac reports distressed homes sold for an average $108,200 in May, up 20 percent from a year earlier, while properties not in foreclosure sold for a median $163,150, up 18 percent from May 2012.

Steven Hagenbuckle at TerraCap Partners said buyers from Brazil, Argentina, and Venezuela view  south Florida real estate as a safe investment, and there is a real supply crunch. Hagenbuckle said lenders will profit from timed releases of distressed homes through 2014 because they will still sell at discounts to new construction, while job growth attracts new residents. He predicts another year-and-a-half of price appreciation.

Mike Pappas at Keyes Real Estate said the supply of available homes in Miami has been cut to less than 3 months, and says this historically boom-bust market is running out of land and going vertical again.

Private-equity firms are buying houses in the area in bulk to turn into rentals. Tom Barrack at Colony Capital says Blackstone has been accumulating properties.

CoreLogic said Florida’s foreclosure inventory was the highest at 8.8 percent of mortgaged homes in May, and more than double the 4 percent share of second-place Illinois and more than triple the US average of 2.6 percent.

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