July Home Prices See Biggest Yearly Increase Since 2006: CoreLogic
Via Tory Barringer, DSNews.com
Home prices in July saw the biggest nationwide year-over-year increase since August 2006, CoreLogic reported Tuesday.
According to the company’s July Home Price Index (HPI), home prices-including distressed sales-increased year-over-year by 3.8 percent in July. On a month-over-month basis, prices increased 1.3 percent from June.
July marked the fifth consecutive increase in home prices on both a monthly and yearly basis.
Of the top 100 Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs), only 23 showed year-over-year declines, four fewer than June.
Removing distressed sales, home prices increased year-over-year by 4.3 percent compared to July 2011 and 1.7 percent relative to June 2012-the fifth consecutive month-over-month decrease.
CoreLogic also reported that its Pending HPI forecasts more monthly and yearly increases ahead. According to the report, prices (including distressed sales) are expected to rise at least 0.6 percent from July to August, putting August on track for a 4.6 percent year-over-year increase. Excluding distressed sales, CoreLogic anticipates price gains of 1.3 percent month-over-month and 6.0 percent year-over-year.
Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, said the positive growth will likely lead to price gains for the full year.
“The housing market continues its positive trajectory with significant price gains in July and our expectation of a further increase in August,” Fleming said. “While the pace of growth is moderating as we transition to the off-season for home buying, we expect a positive gain in price levels for the full year.”
Company president and CEO Anand Nallathambi agreed.
“It’s been six years since the housing market last experienced the gains that we saw in July, with indications the summer will finish up on a strong note,” Nallathambi said. “Although we expect some slowing in price gains over the balance of 2012, we are clearly seeing the light at the end of a very long tunnel.”
Home Values Rise for First Time in 5 Years
Via CNN Money, By Les Christie
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Home prices hit a bottom and are finally bouncing back, according to an industry report released Tuesday.
Nationwide, home values rose 0.2% year-over-year to a median $149,300 during the second quarter, the first annual increase since 2007, real estate listing site Zillow reported. Prices were up 2.1% from the first quarter.
Even though June marked the fourth consecutive month of home value increases, overall home prices are still down almost 24% since April 2007, when Zillow began to track home values.
“[I]t seems clear that the country has hit a bottom in home values,” said Zillow’s chief economist Stan Humphries. “The housing recovery is holding together despite lower-than-expected job growth, indicating that it has some organic strength of its own.”
Last winter, Zillow projected that the housing market turnaround would not arrive until the end of the year.
Other home price indexes have also recorded gains lately, including the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index. In it latest release, it reported that home prices in 20 major markets rose 1.3% in April, the first monthly increase in seven months.
Zillow uses a different methodology in calculating home values than other home price indexes like Case-Shiller and the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Sales of foreclosed, bank-owned properties, for example, are not factored into Zillow’s data. Zillow does include short sales, however, which are more difficult to distinguish from conventional sales.
“Our index is geared to consumers, conventional sellers deciding whether they want to put their homes on the market,” said Humphries.
The indexes that include foreclosures in their market data show larger price declines. The peak-to-trough drop for the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, for example, is about 34% compared with Zillow’s 24%.
Fewer than one third of the 167 metro areas Zillow surveyed recorded annual increases in home values, but the size of the price gains in these areas more than offset the losses posted by the remaining two-thirds of the markets.
In Phoenix, the biggest gainer, home values soared 12.1% year-over-year to a median of $136,200. Meanwhile, the biggest loss sustained by any of the 30 largest metro areas was in Chicago where median home values fell 5.8% to $158,600.
Foreclosures remain one of the biggest risks to the housing market recovery, Humphries said. In the wake of the national foreclosure settlement which clarified how banks can legally pursue foreclosures, Humphries expects the pace of foreclosures to pick up.
“That will translate to more homes on the market,” he said. “But we think demand will rise to absorb that.”
Zillow expects the housing market to continue to slowly recover, with median home values projected to climb 1.1% — relatively flat — over the next 12 months.
Beaten down markets like Phoenix, Las Vegas and many Florida cities, will likely record greater-than-average gains over the next 12 months, said Humphries.
The results in those places, however, will be bumpy. Home price increases will cause some homeowners who have been patiently waiting for values to rebound to put their homes on the market. And those additional listings could cool prices for a while, resulting in a staircase effect with “price spikes followed by plateaus,” said Humphries.
With Low Supply, Asking Prices Rise for Fifth Straight Month
Via The Wall Street Journal
By Nick Timiraos
Home sellers are staying on the sidelines this summer, which is helping to firm up prices in more U.S. housing markets.
The number of homes listed for sale rose by just 0.5% in June from May and was down 19.4% from one year ago, according to Realtor.com. Slightly less than 1.89 million homes were listed for sale in June, which is lower than at any time in 2011 or 2010.
Listings are down in part because banks have been slower to move foreclosed properties onto the market and investors are buying up more of them at courthouse auction sales and renting them out. Meanwhile, traditional sellers are frequently unwilling to list their homes amid signs that prices are turning around in more markets. And in some of the markets with the biggest inventory drops, many owe more than their homes are worth and may be unable to sell without taking a big loss.
Compared with one year ago, listings were down in all but two of the 146 markets tracked by Realtor.com. Inventory has fallen by nearly 58% in Oakland, Calif.; by 49% in Fresno, Calif.; by 47% in Bakersfield, Calif.; and by 43% in Seattle.
Big inventory drops are pushing up prices. Median asking prices rose for the fifth straight month and were 2.7% higher than one year ago, though they were up by just 0.05% for the month. By contrast, last year’s disappointing spring sales season prompted sellers to cut prices by 1% in June from May.
About two thirds of all markets saw median prices increase in June from one year ago, and about one third of all markets saw median prices rise by at least 5%. The biggest gainers were Phoenix, San Francisco, and Santa Barbara, Calif. Prices declined in just 19 markets, with the biggest declines reported in Allentown, Pa.; Peoria, Ill.; and Toledo, Ohio.
Another sign of the improvement this spring: The median age of inventory listed for sale fell by nearly 10% from one year ago. That means sellers are finding buyers more quickly for their homes.
Economic Conditions Update: Great Time to Purchase / Refi
From Week In Review Update via GMAC Newsletter
On Friday, the Labor Department reported that 227,000 jobs were created in February, with 233,000 private job gains offsetting slower government job losses. Adding to the positive overall tone were upward revisions to both December’s and January’s job growth readings, which added another 61,000 jobs to what was previously reported.
In addition, the Unemployment Rate held steady at 8.3%. One thing that is important to note is that wage growth continues to lag even the tepid amount of inflation we are seeing right now. And negative earnings growth - compounded with consumers still deleveraging accumulated debt - makes it very hard for the economy to grow at a pace robust enough to significantly lower the unemployment rate. Also, a low Hourly Earnings reading also tells us there is no upward pressure to raise wages, which is sometimes a precursor to more hiring. This mix of news made the report an okay one overall…and since Stocks (not Bonds) usually benefit when there is great news, the “okay” tone actually was good for Bonds and home loan rates.
In news overseas, private investors in Greek debt were coaxed into forgiving more that 100 Billion Euros ($132 Billion) of debt in order to provide another bailout to the country. It’s important to understand that this deal does not solve the problems in Greece, but only provides a hefty kick of the can down the road. New problems will emerge once the country has to meet austerity measures along with the “tighter fiscal union” guidelines and metrics set forth by Germany. And as uncertainty overseas continues, our Bonds (including Mortgage Bonds, which home loan rates are tied to) could continue to benefit from safe haven trading.
The bottom line is that now continues to be a great time to purchase or refinance a home, as home loan rates remain near historic lows.