Based on recorded sales of non-distressed properties (both new and existing homes) in the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), September home prices were mostly unchanged from August. However, prices were up 2.3 percent from September 2011, the largest yearly increased since February 2007. September also marked the third straight month of year-over-year price improvement.
On a quarterly basis, home prices rose 1.8 percent from the second to the third quarter. Year-to-date, prices were up 4.5 percent.
All three FNC RPI composites (the national, 30-MSA, and 10-MSA indices) showed ""similar moderating trends in September"" when compared to August or July. While the national index showed no change from August to September, the smaller composites picked up slight price
increases: The 30-MSA index showed a 0.2 percent bump from August, while the 10-MSA index rose by 0.4 percent.
On a year-over-year basis, the 30-MSA and 10-MSA composites also posted their biggest price increases since February 2007--2.4 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.
According to FNC, ""[d]eclining foreclosure sales continue to play out favorably on current price trends."" Foreclosures as a percentage of total home sales fell to 17.2 percent in September, compared to 26.7 percent at the start of the year and 23 percent in September 2011. The company's RPI data excludes sales of foreclosed homes, which are frequently sold with large price discounts.
Markets tracked in the 30-MSA composite index showed a divide in month-to-month price changes, with a small majority reporting positive changes. Phoenix showed the most improvement from August, posting a 2.7 percent increase in home prices. Based on a three-month moving average (tracking July, August, and September), Phoenix, Detroit, San Francisco, Sacramento, and New York showed the largest price improvement in Q3.
While housing has shown demonstrable improvement in the last year, FNC expects the recovery will slow down as the market heads into its slump season.
""Despite recent encouraging developments, the pace of the housing recovery is likely to be constrained during the housing low season (fall and winter) amid the modest outlook for an overall economic recovery. Regionally, a number of northeastern housing markets affected by Hurricane Sandy will likely show a marked slowdown in recovery due to expected delays in mortgage financing, appraisals, foreclosures, and new constructions,"" FNC said in a release.