According to a Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey, distressed property sales spiked in December after dipping last fall due to foreclosure moratoriums. The Housing Pulse Distressed Property Index, which measures the share of total home sales involving distressed properties, rose to 47.2 percent from 44.5 percent in November. The survey also shows an increase in first-time homebuyer activity. First-time buyers accounted for 37.7 percent of all transactions in December, up from 34.4 percent. Thomas Popik, research director for Campbell Surveys, said the combination of increased property supply and growing homebuyer demand caused a blow-out month for home sales. More here and here.