BY: ESTHER CHO
As homeowners hold back from selling, home prices are benefiting, according to a report from Redfin, which tracked home prices in 19 U.S. markets.
While prices remained flat month-over-month (-0.1 percent) from June to July, Redfin found prices rose 3.2 percent from July 2011 to July 2012.
However, the number of homes for sale fell 28.1 percent during the same one-year period and also declined 5 percent from June.
According to Redfin, the biggest challenge the housing market is facing is selection, and the problem will persist until the end of the year.
Among 19 markets measured by Redfin, 16 saw yearly price gains, with Phoenix seeing the biggest gain at 28.7 percent.
By: Tory Barringer
The RE/MAX National Housing Report found that the national median home price rose for the third straight month in April, indicating that the housing recovery in 2012 is continuing.
The report surveyed 53 metropolitan areas and found that the median home price was $161,000, 3.2 percent higher than in March and 5.9 percent higher than in April 2011. February marked the first time in 18 months that home prices experienced an increase, and data from March and April shows a positive trend.
Data revealed that of the 53 metro areas surveyed, 43 saw an increase in median home prices over last year, and 12 of those saw double-digit percentage increases.
According to a March 2012 housing report released by RE/MAX, home prices have risen for the second month in a row now on a year-over-year basis. The RE/MAX report included 53 metro areas and found the median price in March was $184,525, a 7.3 percent price increase from February, and a 5.8 percent increase from a year ago in March 2011. A consecutive increase on a year-over-year basis has not occurred since August 2010, according to the report.
Also, according to the March report, of the 53 metro areas, 36 experienced year-over-year price increases, with 10 seeing double-digit gains including Detroit, Michigan (+22.8 percent); Miami, Florida (+21.8 percent); St. Louis, Missouri (+18.5 percent); Phoenix, Arizona (+18.2 percent); Atlanta, Georgia (+13.7 percent); and Orlando, Florida (+12.7 percent).
The valuation firm Clear Capital released the results of its home price forecasting models Thursday. The company expects residential property values at the national level to show slight increases over the next three months, ending the year with a growth rate of 1.2 percent.
Diagrams illustrating the trajectory of home prices from 2006 to now and Clear Capital’s projections heading into 2013 depict the valley shape with current prices at the bottom and a subtle upward trend from March through December of 2012.
The strongest of the country’s four regions throughout much of 2011, the Northeast, is expected to see a modest gain of 0.3 percent over the next three months but pick up momentum and grow prices by 1.3 percent to wrap up the year.
The South is expected to perform the strongest in the short term with prices projected to increase 0.5 percent over the next three months, and end the year up 1.6 percent.
When excluding distressed sales, such as short sales and REO transactions, prices actually increased on a month-over-month basis in February, according to the February 2012 Home Price Index released by CoreLogic Wednesday. Though, when including distressed sales, prices decreased compared to the month before.
Month-over-month home prices increased by 0.7 percent in February when not factoring in distressed sales and decreased 0.8 percent compared to the year.
When including distressed sales, prices dropped 0.8 percent compared to the prior month in January, which is the seventh consecutive monthly decline, while year-over-year prices fell 2 percent, according to the report.
The Urban Land Institute released its Real Estate Consensus Forecast Wednesday morning, and overall, the 38 real estate economists and analysts surveyed projected broad improvements for the economy.
With signs of improvement in the housing sector already emerging, participants expect to see housing starts nearly double by 2014 and project home prices will begin to rise in 2013.
The average home price, which has declined somewhere between 1.8 percent and 4.1 percent over each of the past three years, according to FHFA data, is expected to stabilize in 2012, followed by a 2 percent increase in 2013, and a 3.5 percent increase in 2014.
Standard & Poor’s reported Tuesday that it’s closely watched Case-Shiller index declined in January for the fifth straight month, with both the 10-city and 20-city composite readings slipping 0.8 percent from December.
But according to John Burns Real Estate Consulting (JBREC), that’s stale news and doesn’t reflect what’s actually happening in the market right now. In fact, the independent research company says home prices are rising.
JBREC conducted its own analysis of home prices in 97 markets and found that over the January-to-March period prices are up in 90 of them. The average price increase over the last three months is 1.1 percent, or a 4.5 percent annual rate, according to data issued by JBREC just before S&P’s Case-Shiller release.
It hit with the ferocity of an Old Testament plague, wiping out large populations of homeowners in the U.S. Five million of the country's 76 million mortgage holders have lost their homes to foreclosure or lender-ordered short sales since 2006, and an estimated 14 million more owe more on their homes than their properties are currently worth. In all, some $7.4 trillion in homeowners' equity has been destroyed, according to Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, and more than two million jobs in the home-building industry disappeared.
At year end 2011, the S&P/Case-Shiller National U.S. Home Price Index fell to a record low, 33.8% below the boom peak level, recorded in 2006's second quarter. The descent has been all the more hideous in such once-manic markets as Las Vegas, Phoenix and Miami, which, according to the Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Index, have fallen 61%, 55% and 51%, respectively, from their high-water marks.
Aging baby boomers and their echo boomer children will significantly impact trends in the nation’s housing market over the next 20 years. In a new report released by the Bipartisan Policy Center, “Demographic Challenges and Opportunities for U.S. Housing Markets,” researchers at the National Association of Realtors®, The Urban Institute, and the University of Southern California analyze key demographic trends and their likely influence on housing and homeownership in the U.S.
Over the next two decades, the aging baby boomer generation will swell the nation’s senior population by 30 million. That demographic shift will likely help increase the supply of housing, since people over age 65 typically release much more housing than they absorb.
Home prices across much of the country are still overvalued, but the gap is narrowing, according to Fitch Ratings’ latest quarterly market update.
The agency has revised its Sustainable Home Price (SHP) model, and the results show that residential property values are now on track to fall an additional 9.1 percent nationally before arriving at a level that is supported by market fundamentals.
The rating agency’s expectations have improved since it forecast a further decline of 13.1 percent last quarter. When considering the impact of inflation, the projected drop in home prices shrinks to roughly 6 percent, Fitch explained.
The reason for the improved projection? Fitch sees evidence of the market’s ongoing self-correction in home prices, as well as stronger macro indicators such as unemployment and GDP growth.
That said, Fitch stresses that it’s still a long and difficult road ahead to get back to pre-recession levels. Though home prices are falling nationally, price movement in some regional markets is still quite volatile due to the volume and pace of distressed sales being processed.