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Tag Archives: Home Values

Fitch Reasserts: Price Gains Unsustainable

In a release, Fitch Ratings maintains its cautious view of recent gains in home prices, suggesting recent news of rising prices and sales volumes "are not moving in sync with key economic indicators that would otherwise support a sustainable price level." One of those key indicators in unemployment, which has fallen in the past several years--partly as a result of fallout in labor force participation, not an improving employment situation, Fitch says.

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FNC February Price Index Sees 28-Month High

U.S. property values went into spring continuing the growth trend that started a year ago, according to FNC's Residential Price Index (RPI) for February. The index, based on recorded sales of non-distressed properties (both new and existing homes) in the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), recorded a 28-month high after rising for 12 consecutive months. Yearly, the index was up 6.1 percent--its fastest gain since July 2006. Month-over-month, the index was up 0.2 percent.

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CoreLogic: Home Prices Continue to Show Yearly Improvement

CoreLogic's Home Price Index (HPI) posted its largest annual increase in nearly seven years in February. Among the largest metros, Phoenix posted the largest year-over-year increase at 20.8 percent. Other metros that posted double-digit increases included Los Angeles (+14.5 percent), Riverside (+13.2 percent), and Atlanta (+12.4 percent). Furthermore, CoreLogic's Pending HPI projects another 10.2 percent year-over-year increase. From February to March, prices are expected to rise by 1.2 percent.

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Report: Home Prices Keep Warm in Winter, Expected to Heat Up

While most of the country spent the winter fighting blizzard conditions and flu symptoms, home prices made it through the season relatively unscathed. According to Clear Capital, home prices ended March with a 6.5 percent year-over-year improvement, while the quarterly gain was a modest 0.9 percent. Over the next three quarters, Clear Capital is projecting growth of 1.7 percent, which would bring the 2013 forecast to 2.6 percent. That growth will differ by region, with the Northeast leading in gains.

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Commentary: No News Is…

Sometimes a story just fits--and sometimes it doesn't. Given that maxim, the explanation from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) for the drop in the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) for February has to be viewed with a jaundiced eye. According to the NAR, the PHSI dropped because of the low inventory of homes for sale. Of course, that wasn't offered as an explanation one month earlier, when the inventory of homes for sale dropped, and the PHSI increased.

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GDP Growth More Positive in Revised Report

Real gross domestic product (GDP) rose at an annual rate of 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported Thursday. The report, coming just three days before the end of the first quarter, was an improvement over the first two GDP reports that showed the economy contracted by 0.1 percent then improved by 0.1 percent. The main drag on the fourth quarter economy--as it had been in the previous two fourth-quarter reports--continued to be government spending.

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February Case-Shiller Indices Post Strongest Gain Since 2006

Home prices posted their strongest yearly gain in almost seven years in January, according to the Case-Shiller 10- and 20-city Home Price Indices released Tuesday. Home prices rose year-over-year in all 20 of the cities in the Case-Shiller survey. Prices rose in nine cities in January over December while falling in eight. Prices were unchanged in the remaining three. December data were revised, showing prices rose month-over-month in 10 cities compared with nine in the original report. The report showed a steady improvement in prices in the West.

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LPS: Average Home Price Up to $208K in January

In January, national home prices averaged $208,000, up 0.3 percent from December and 6.7 percent year-over-year. However, prices were still 21.4 percent below their June 2006 peak. Among metro areas, Atlanta experienced the biggest monthly increase at 1.7 percent, while Phoenix followed with a 1.2 percent gain. Three other metros in the top five were San Jose (+1.2 percent); Hilton Head, South Carolina (1.1 percent); and Baltimore (1.1 percent).

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Commentary: Headlines and Bottom Lines

One of the most interesting results of poring through economic data reports is that the details often tell a different story than the headline. Coverage of the recent report on housing permits and starts, for example, was dominated by the increases in both metrics, suggesting a revival of the housing sector, a response some analysts suggested is due to tight inventories of existing-single family homes on the market. However, a closer look revealed a more important phenomenon.

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