Entries in Home Prices (28)


Home Prices on the Rise

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Have you checked the value of your home recently?  For the first time in years it could be worth more than you think.

Home prices are bouncing back from their lows in all but a few local markets.  Fewer homeowners are under water -- owing more to the bank than their properties are worth.

"We've seen 1.4 million borrowers regain equity.  That's through the third quarter," says Economist Molly Boesel with CoreLogic.

There are also fewer foreclosures and short sales.

"We saw an increase in non-distressed sales in 2012. That's the first increase we've seen in those non-distressed sales since 2005," Boesel points out.

She says that in most of the country, "2012 was a great year for the housing market and we should see that continue in 2013."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Home Prices Up Six Months in a Row

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- U.S. home prices rose again for the sixth straight month, signaling that the housing recovery is taking hold, according to S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.

“With six months of consistently rising home prices, it is safe to say that we are now in the midst of a recovery in the housing market,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, in a statement.

The national composite also increased 3.6 percent in the third quarter of this year from the same time period in 2011.

In September, the 10- and 20-city composites had increasing annual returns of 2.1 percent and 3 percent, respectively.  However, Detroit and Washington, D.C., had slight declines in their annual returns and New York had no change.

Thirteen of the 20 cities recorded positive monthly returns. Boston, Charlotte, N.C., Chicago, Cleveland and New York had a slight drop in home prices in September from August.  Meanwhile, Tampa, Fla., and Washington D.C., remained unchanged.

Blitzer noted that the market is entering the “seasonally weak part of the year,” as sellers and buyers tend to slow activity in the colder weather.  The Case-Shiller headline numbers are not seasonally adjusted.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Home Prices Rise But Gains Are Uneven Across Country

Phillip Spears/Digital Vision(NEW YORK) -- The housing market is revving up and gaining strength in some parts of the country.  Average U.S. home prices rose 1.3 percent in the third quarter, the biggest quarterly gain since 2006, according to real estate information provider Zillow.

But the pace of the recovery is uneven, with home values growing rapidly in some areas and falling in others.  

Compared with the year before, Zillow says prices shot up more than 20 percent in the Phoenix metro area.  Meanwhile, in the Atlanta region, home values dropped nearly 5 percent.


“We’re likely seeing home values fall back into the negative range in some markets due to the close of the traditional home-buying season,” Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries explains.  “While that doesn’t mean the recovery has come off the rails -- in fact, most markets have hit bottom -- it does present a confusing environment for consumers."

Zillow's forecast shows a modest rise for next year, with values increasing 1.7 percent.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


New Home Prices Rise to Five-Year High

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- New home sales last month stayed almost even with July at 373,000, the Commerce Department reported on Wednesday.  But in more promising news for the housing market, the median price of a new home jumped to a five-year high.

The average price of a new home rose by 11.2 percent in August to $256,900, marking the highest tally since March 2007.

David Crowe, chief economist with the National Association of Home Builders, says there are reasons for confidence about the housing market.

"Housing starts, housing sales, existing home sales, house prices, builder confidence.  It's a series of good pieces of news that lead us to believe we're really on a road to recovery," he says.

But while recovery continues to head in the right direction -- new home sales in August were up nearly 28 percent compared with the year before -- there's still a long way to go for a healthy real estate market.

"We're a long way off from a normal market or a typical market.  That should be more in the 800,000 to 900,000 per year sales range so we're not even half way back to normal.  But the encouraging thing is that we continue to increase," Crowe says.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Home Prices Rise, Spurred by Low Interest Rates

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Home prices rose again in July as builders reported increased orders.  The S&P/Case-Shiller showed an increase of 1.6 percent for the month in its 20-city home-price index.

Average home prices increased by 1.5 percent for the 10-city composite from June.

Last month, Case-Shiller’s three indices showed positive annual growth for the first time since the summer of 2010.  All three composites of the Case-Shiller indices -- the national, 10- and 20-city composites -- were up for June from one year ago.

Record low interest rates, pushed down by the Federal Reserve, are encouraging more home buyers to finally purchase after the housing bubble burst five years ago.  Earlier this month, the nation’s central bank announced the federal funds rate -- the rate at which banks borrow from each other -- would remain near zero at least through mid-2015 due to the struggling unemployment situation in the country.

In its analysis released Tuesday morning, the S&P/Case-Shiller report showed Dallas and Washington, D.C., had no change in their annual rates, while rates for Cleveland, Detroit and New York worsened in July.

“The news on home prices in this report confirm recent good news about housing,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Single family housing starts are well ahead of last year’s pace, existing home sales are up, the inventory of homes for sale is down and foreclosure activity is slowing.  All in all, we are more optimistic about housing. Upbeat trends continue.  For the third time in a row, all 20 cities and both Composites had monthly gains. Stronger housing numbers are a positive factor for other measures including consumer confidence.”

At online real estate analytics firm Zillow, Chief Economist Stan Humphries said, “July shows another strong month of appreciation for Case-Shiller albeit down slightly from June’s revised monthly pace and somewhat lower than our expectations.  The indices have, however, still yielded a better annual comparison than last month, reflecting organic growth in the housing market, which further confirms what we’ve been seeing over the last few months in other data: the housing market is in recovery mode.  Given the more recent August, Zillow Home Value Index was down slightly month-over-month, we anticipate Case-Shiller’s monthly appreciation to slow even more substantially in August.”

Zillow released housing numbers for August last week.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Home Price Rise Signals Recovery

Phillip Spears/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Home prices are showing positive annual growth for the first time since the summer of 2010, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices out Tuesday.

All three composites of the Case-Shiller indices -- the national, 10- and 20-city composites -- were up for June from one year ago.  The national composite rose 1.2 percent in the second quarter of 2012 from the same period a year ago.  The 10- and 20-city composites rose 0.1 percent and 0.5 percent in June 2012 from June 2011.

“We seem to be witnessing exactly what we needed for a sustained recovery; monthly increases coupled with improving annual rates of change.  The market may have finally turned around,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, in a statement.

Two cities -- Charlotte and Dallas -- saw annual rates of decline accelerate in June, Blitzer pointed out.  Only six cities -- Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York and San Diego -- had negative annual rates of change.  Boston’s annual home price rate was flat.

Last week, two home sales reports indicated that the housing market may have rebounded from the bottom.

Last Thursday, the Commerce Department reported new homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 372,000 in July -- an increase of 3.6 percent a month ago and 25.3 percent more than a year ago.

And last Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors reported monthly sales of existing homes increased 2.3 percent in July to 4.47 million.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Housing Market Turning the Corner After Five-Year Slump

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- For the first time in five years, home prices have posted an annual increase, says real estate information firm Zillow.

The rise is small -- just 0.2 percent -- but after a long, deep slump the market is looking up.

"After four months with rising home values and increasingly positive forecast data, it seems clear that the country has hit a bottom in home values," says 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."

The largest price rise over the past 12 months -- 12.3 percent -- came in Phoenix, one of the hardest-hit markets during the housing bust.  

The Zillow Home Value Forecast shows that in most markets prices will rise modestly over the next year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Home Prices Rise in Nearly All Cities

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The trend is now clear: The worst of the housing slump is over in many parts of the country.

Home prices rose in nearly all major U.S. cities in April, according to the latest Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index.  The average increase in the 20 cities tracked was 1.3 percent from March -- the first rise in seven months.

The biggest increases were reported in Phoenix, San Francisco and Washington. Detroit was the only city where prices fell, 3.6 percent.

The increases partly reflect the impact of the spring buying season. The month-to-month prices aren’t adjusted for seasonal factors. Still, prices in half of the cities are up over the past 12 months. The largest gain was in Phoenix, where prices rose 8.6 percent compared to last year.

Monday’s Commerce Department report on new home sales also brought good news. It found that Americans bought new homes in May at the fastest pace in more than two years -- up 7.6 percent compared with the month before.

For five years, the housing slump and mortgage mess have been a drag on jobs and the economy. Now, that trend appears to be coming to a close.

But the housing recovery still has a long way to go. Sales are still way below where they were during the boom years.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Walmart Stores Push Nearby Home Prices Up, Economists Find 

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Walmart, the nation's largest private employer, has been chastised for skimping on workers' wages and health care perks, but critics now may have a silver lining as the giant retailer positivelty affects housing prices.

An economics research paper from the University of Chicago and Brigham Young University found that the presence of a Walmart led to the increase of housing prices by 2 to 3 percent on average for homes within 0.5 miles of the store.  For houses located between 0.5 and 1 mile of the store, prices increased 1 to 2 percent.

The researchers analyzed 159 stores that opened between 2000 and 2006 that had available housing price data, and compared home prices 2.5 years before and after the Walmart opened.

Devin Pope, an economics professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, who wrote the paper along with his brother, Jaren Pope, an economics professor at Brigham Young University, said many people have written about the positive and negative outcomes of Walmart stores, which number more than 4,400 in the U.S., including Sam's Club warehouses.  Walmart has 10,130 retail units in 27 countries, according to the company website.

The study looked at stores in 20 states, all with varying numbers of stores.  California had the most stores analyzed at 36, while Florida had the second largest number at 21. Six states, including Tennessee and Wisconsin, had only one store analyzed.

Devin Pope said housing prices may provide some picture that shows the net impact of a Walmart store on a neighborhood.

"When you see housing prices increase and a change in an environmental amenity, there is a group of people happy with that amenity," he said.

Devin Pope said the analysis controlled for other factors that may have led to the price increases, such as national housing trends.  The paper does not explain how home prices changed in each city because the analysis was conducted at the aggregate level to control for national trends.

Devin Pope said the paper did not research trends past 2.5 years after the Walmart was built, but it is possible prices would increase further.

However, he said, he would be surprised if home prices did not decrease in some of the 159 communities he studied as a result of the Walmart.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Home Prices: Has the Tide Turned?

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Average home prices rose in March compared with February in most of the 20 cities in a Standard & Poor’s/Case Shiller survey out Tuesday – the first time in seven months there’s been a gain.  This report adds to growing evidence that the worst of the five-year housing slump appears to be over.

“It gives some indication to both to what happened during the housing boon and how the bust may be unwinding,” says David Blitzer of the S&P’s index committee.

But there are many local variations in the 20-city home price index.  Some metropolitan areas are in far worse shape than others. In three cities – Atlanta, Chicago, and Detroit – annual rates of change declined in March. The other 17 cities saw improvements.

“The number of cities declining was lower than it had been recently. The number of cities hitting new lows was lower than it had been recently and except for a couple of places we see substantial declines, still we’re beginning to see more stability in the overall numbers,” says Blitzer.

Across the country average prices in March were still more than 2.5 percent lower than the year before and down 35 percent from their 2006 peak.  That’s why nearly a third of homeowners owe more than their properties are worth.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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