Entries in Home Values (9)


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


Housing Market to Hit Bottom by Late 2012, Report Suggests

Phillip Spears/Digital Vision(SEATTLE) -- Online real estate marketplace Zillow said home values rose 0.5 percent in March from February, the largest monthly increase since May 2006 when the housing recession began.

Zillow’s report describing the first quarter follows two other reports about the housing market released on Tuesday.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home-price index showed average home prices tumbled to their lowest level in nearly a decade, after prices dropped in February from January in 16 of the 20 cities it tracks.

A separate report from the Commerce Department indicated new home sales fell last month by the most in more than a year to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 328,000 units.  That followed a 7.3 percent increase in February.

“I think the variety of data points of housing market we’re getting this week all point to a slowly healing housing market,” Stan Humphries, Zillow’s chief economist, said.  “We think of it as a bottoming process, as opposed to the bottom being a discrete point in time.”

Humphries said the “bottoming process is well under way and is made up of new home sales that have reached bottom and are starting to rebound a bit.”

The Zillow Home Value Forecast shows that national home values will fall 0.4 percent over the next 12 months, suggesting that U.S. home values could reach bottom in late 2012.

Humphries said buyers with longer time horizons, retirees, second home buyers and investors, are returning to the residential marketplace.

“The next stage is for the more mainstream buyer to get off the fence and start buying,” he said.  “All that activity ultimately leads to slowing depreciation rates and ultimately a bottom in home values themselves.”

The rate of homes foreclosed fell to 2009 levels in the first quarter of 2012.  Zillow reported 7.4 out of every 10,000 homes foreclosed, down from 8.3 out of every 10,000 homes foreclosed in February.

The report stated that 19 of the 30 metro areas covered by the Zillow Home Value Forecast will reach a bottom in 2012, or have already reached a bottom.  Zillow expects several of those areas to see significant home value increases in the next 12 months, including Phoenix (6.5 percent) and Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (5.6 percent).´╗┐

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Home Values Continue to Decline

Creatas/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The housing market remains in the rut.  The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index through November showed home values fell 3.7 percent from the previous year.

The 20-city home price index dropped slightly more than the 3.3 percent economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected, weighed down by foreclosed properties.

According to the widely-cited measure index released Tuesday morning, 18 of the 20 cities in the index showed a decline since the previous year.  Atlanta had the largest drop at 11.8 percent followed by Las Vegas at 9.1 percent.  Detroit had the biggest increase with a rise of 3.8 percent year-over-year for November.

U.S. home prices also fell more than expected in October as foreclosures continue to drag down the housing market.  The 20-city home price index fell 0.6 percent in October from the previous month, and 3.4 percent from October 2010.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Home Values Declined More Than Expected

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. home prices fell more than expected in October as foreclosures continue to drag down the housing market, the S&P/Case-Shiller index reported Tuesday.

According to the widely-used measure index, home values in its 20-city composite fell 3.4 percent from October 2010. Prices fell 1.2 percent from September, when prices returned to 2003-levels.

David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices, said the only good news in the October data is some improvements in the annual rates of change of 14 of 20 cities and the 10- and 20-city composites.

October's decline in Case-Shiller home prices was driven by slides in major cities, including New York, which has, over the past several years, exhibited more stable prices than many other regions, said Guy LeBas, chief fixed income strategist with Janney Capital Markets. Nineteen of the 20 cities analyzed had decreases in home prices over the month. Phoenix was the only one of the 20 areas that had a positive monthly change at 0.3 percent.

"Overall, it looks like the reprieve for home prices provided by lower mortgage rates beginning last summer has come to an end, and the supply-demand imbalance in housing is coming back into the spotlight," he said.

Mortgage rates have fallen to "record-low" levels at the end of the year. Freddie Mac, or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, announced on Thursday that the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.91 percent for last week, "a new all-time low," dropping below the previous week's 3.94 percent, the former record low. The 15-year fixed rate matched the previous week's "all-time record low" at 3.21 percent.

S&P/Case-Shiller reported Detroit and Washington, D.C. were the only two cities to show positive annual returns of 2.5 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively. Fourteen of the 20 metropolitan areas, the 20-city and 10-city composites saw improved annual returns compared to September's data. Miami saw no change in annual returns in October. The annual rates of Atlanta, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Minneapolis declined. Atlanta posted the lowest annual return at -11.7 percent.

Based on the current pace of sales and the foreclosure pipeline, Janney estimates it will take at least 15 months before the inventory of homes for sale realigns with demand.

"That means probable further home price declines are in store for 2012, though the pace will likely be in the 3 to 5 percent range in our view," LeBas said.

More than 100 economists surveyed by Zillow predicted the country will not see the end of the three-year decline in home values for at least another year. The real estate marketplace site said the market's bottom is forecasted to take place in late 2012 or early 2013.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Economists Predict Housing Rebound to Be a Year Away

Creatas/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) -- The three-year decline in U.S. home values won’t abate for at least another year, according to a national survey of more than 100 economists, real estate experts and investment strategists.

Prices are forecast to continue to decline until the market’s bottom is reached in late 2012 or early 2013, economists in real estate marketplace Zillow’s Home Price Expectations Survey for December reported.  U.S. home prices are expected to decline 1.57 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 after falling 0.4 percent through September, according to those surveyed.

“Unfortunately, when we look ahead to next year, the unabsorbed pool of housing supply, dragging levels of consumer confidence, high unemployment and negative equity will continue to put downward pressure on the housing market, pushing our expectation for a potential recovery into late 2012 or early 2013,” Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries said in a statement.

After 2013, the respondents said they expect a “relatively steady” annual appreciation rate of about 3 percent through 2016, slightly below the appreciation rates during the pre-bubble years of 1987 to 1999.

Homes in the U.S. are expected to lose $681 billion in value during 2011, though the bulk of the loss occurred earlier in the year, according to Zillow.  The losses in home values are large, but they are still 35 percent less than the $1.1 trillion drop in 2010.

Meanwhile, Freddie Mac, or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, announced on Thursday mortgage rates have remained in record lows.  The 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.91 percent for the week, “a new all-time low,” dropping below last week’s 3.94 percent, the previous record low, according to the agency.  The 15-year fixed matched last week’s “all-time record low” at 3.21 percent.

Freddie Mac’s chief economist Frank Nothaft said mortgage rates will likely remain very low, at least through mid-2012.  He predicted housing activity will be better in 2012, “but not robust.”

“A full-fledged recovery in the housing sector will likely elude the U.S. in 2012, but new construction and home sales are expected to be greater than in 2011,” Nothaft wrote in his predictions for next year.

Distressed sales and “sluggish” home-buying demand will continue to keep prices low in many markets.

“We expect U.S. house-price indexes to move lower before bottoming out in 2012, with modest appreciation forestalled until 2013,” Nothaft said.

He said the rental market appears to be leading the housing recovery, as rental prices have risen in most markets, vacancies have decreased, and property values for professionally managed complexes are up in most neighborhoods.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Home Values Projected to Lose $681 Million in 2011

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) -- U.S. homes may have lost close to $700 billion in value this year, but that isn't necessarily bad news.

Real estate tracker Zillow reported Thursday that homes are expected to lose more than $681 million in 2011.  Even so, the figure is 35 percent lower than the $1.1 trillion lost last year, and it's the smallest loss in four years.

Zillow says it represents some improvement since homes are losing value at a much slower pace.

"While homeowners suffered through another year of steep losses, the good news is that homes are losing value at a substantially slower pace as the market works its way towards the bottom," said Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries.  "Compared to last year when we saw sharp declines following the expiration of the homebuyer tax credits, this year we saw some organic improvement in home values, in terms of a slowed depreciation rate which resulted in a smaller total value loss for the year."

The majority of the decline came between the months of January and June, when the housing market lost $454 billion. Zillow predicts $227 billion will be lost in the second half of 2011, from July through the end of December.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Home Values Are Stabilizing, Zillow Reports

Digital/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Home values are flat and appear to be stabilizing, according to real estate website Zillow, which was better than expected considering a high level of unemployment, negative equity and fragile consumer confidence.

The company reported U.S. home values fell 0.2 percent in the third quarter. Only 26 markets saw home values rise this quarter, compared with 61 markets in the previous quarter. On a year-over-year basis home values were down 4.4 percent, with the Zillow Home Value Index at $171,500.

National negative equity — people who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth — increased to 28.6 percent of all single-family homes with mortgages, from 26.8 percent in the second quarter. This quarter, home values remained flat while foreclosure rates slowed, increasing negative equity, according to Zillow.

Home prices across the country ticked up slightly in August, S&P/Case-Shiller reported on Oct. 25. But prices were still down compared with August 2010, highlighting the tough road to recovery for home prices, which have declined by a third since their peak in 2006.

Meanwhile, buyers have tried to take advantage of the lowest recorded mortgage rates in about 60 years.

Freddie Mac reported on Monday that 82 percent of refinancing homeowners maintained the same loan amount or lowered their mortgage debt in the third quarter. Of these borrowers, 44 percent maintained about the same loan amount, and 37 percent of refinancing homeowners reduced their principal balance.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Housing Market Being Affected by Falling Home Prices

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Home prices across the country have been falling for some time now, but have they reached a bottom?  Not quite yet.

Average home prices have been falling for at least four years, and the only people really benefitting from the price drops have been first time home buyers.

As economist Paul Dales explains, "Housing does pretty much look like the bargain of a lifetime.  It is incredibly undervalued when you compare the price of housing to disposable incomes."

But Dales says with tighter lending rules many people who want to buy a home don't qualify for a mortgage.  And for those with a mortgage, he says, "if your home is worth less than the existing mortgage then you're not going to be able to re-finance it."

As for the trend of falling prices, "we expect it will continue throughout this year," he says.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Top 10 Cities to Buy a Home in 2011

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Home values have fallen 26 percent since the market's peak in 2006 -- and as much as 50 percent in some areas.  But if you have good credit and plan to buy a home and live there for at least five years, it can be a great time to bag a real estate bargain.

ABC News partnered with real estate website to figure out the best places to buy in 2011.  Zillow looked at four regional factors to determine the top choices -- affordability based on median home costs, unemployment rates, foreclosure rates and price increases in home values.

Here are the top 10 best places to buy in 2011 after analyzing those four factors:

1. Utica, New York
2. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
3. Rochester, New York
4. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
5. Tulsa, Oklahoma
6. Albany, New York
7. Lancaster, Pennsylvania
8. Madison, Wisconsin
9. Green Bay, Wisconsin
10. Lincoln, Nebraska´╗┐

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio