Taking data from its monthly home price tracker, Black Knight Financial Services reported Monday that high-value properties in the country's hardest-hit states have made solid strides in recovering to their pre-crisis peaks. At the same time, however, low-value homes are still struggling to make progress.
One of the best examples of Black Knight's findings is Nevada. According to the company, properties in the lowest segment of the state’s housing market are down 47 percent from their peaks compared to 36 percent for the highest tier. California is even worse: Properties in the Golden State's highest level are about 3 percent from their previous highs, while those at the bottom are still off by nearly one-third.
The Mortgage Bankers Association reported Thursday that its Mortgage Credit Availability Index edged up to a reading of 115.7 in December, about a 1 percent gain over November. The group’s chief economist, Mike Fratantoni, said the driver behind the increase was an announcement earlier in the month that both Fannie and Freddie are launching new 97 percent loan-to-value mortgage programs for qualifying homebuyers. Since the programs were announced, the MBA says about one-quarter of investors contributing to the index have started offering high-LTV loans.