Housing Prices Looking Stronger
Posted by MortgageLender at September 26th, 2012
By Peter King, Published: September 25, 2012
U.S. home prices continued to rise in July, according to two prominent surveys released today.
Home prices showed a one-month gain of 1.6 percent (0.4 percent seasonally adjusted) in the newest Standard & Poors/Case-Shiller index of home prices in 20 major metropolitan areas. Meanwhile, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, reported a seasonally adjusted increase of 0.2 percent for the month of July.
It was the fourth consecutive monthly increase in the S&P index and the sixth consecutive monthly gain in the FHFA report. Furthermore, it was the third straight month that all 20 cities in the S&P index posted monthly gains, while 16 of the 20 showed annual improvements over their July 2011 pricing.
“We Are More Optimistic”
“The news on home prices in this report confirm(s) recent good news about housing,” said David Blitzer, chair of the S&P index committee. “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.”
On an annual basis, the S&P report has prices up 1.2 percent from their July 2011 levels, while the FHFA is reporting a much stronger 3.7 percent annual gain. The difference is largely due to methodology; the S&P survey looks at repeat home sales in the 20 major metropolitan areas it covers, while the FHFA figures are based on data from mortgages guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The S&P survey estimates that on a national basis, home prices are at roughly the same level they were in the summer of 2003, while the FHFA survey puts July home prices at roughly the June 2004 level.
Gains Strongest in Western U.S.
The FHFA report shows the home price gains are generally strongest in the western part of the country and weaker east of the Mississippi River. The Mountain states are showing the strongest gains, with prices up 11.9 percent over the past 12 months, including a 1.3 percent in July. Meanwhile, the Middle Atlantic states are showing the weakest performance, with a 1.4 percent annual decline, including a 0.7 percent drop in July.
All other parts of the country showed annual gains in the FHFA report with the exception of New England, where prices are down 0.5 percent over the past 12 months, along with a 0.1 percent drop in July.
First published at: http://www.mortgageloan.com/housing-prices-looking-stronger-9250
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