Home Prices Rise Across the Board

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The real estate report is happy — housing prices are up across the country. The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index, a volatile but closely watched index of house prices, was up 0.9% from the month before. That jump follows a collective 0.7% rise in April over March.

These numbers are seasonally adjusted — it’s important to smooth the data since traditionally home sales are hot in the spring.

In even better news, every one of the 20 cities in the index also reported month-over-month gains, with the strongest being Chicago (up 2.3%), Atlanta (up 2.0%), and Las Vegas (up 1.9%).

The Atlanta data is especially welcome, as housing prices there have been spiraling down looking for a bottom. Year-over-year, prices in Atlanta are still down a stunning 14.5%, but this month’s results may indicate that the diver has at least touched the ocean floor.

That might be the case on a national level as well. Year-over-year, the 20-city S&P/Case-Shiller index is still down, but the  -0.7% fall is both better than the annual drop registered last month (-1.9%) and better than consensus expectations (which were looking for -1.0%, according to the Wall Street Journal).

(MOREFrom Underwater to ‘Equity Poor’: Why the Housing Market Isn’t Recovering Faster)

In fact, 12 of the metro areas in the index reported positive annual returns. Standing out were Phoenix (up 11.5% year-over-year), Dallas (up 3.8%) and Denver (up 3.7%). Florida continues to sparkle, too, with prices in Miami up 3.4% annually and 1.4% month-over-month, and prices in Tampa up 2.5% annually and 2.0% month-over-month.

For market observers with a long view, these recent rises only put us back at the level of Spring 2003. There’s also been some “hidden deflation” as interest rates were higher then. (If a house now costs exactly what it did in 2003, but back then you could get a mortgage at 5% interest, and now you can get a mortgage at 4% interest, that house is worth less relative to its monthly carrying costs than it used to be.)

(MOREOregon Senator Jeff Merkley’s Plan to Get Homeowners Treading Water)

However, the broad base of the jump in housing prices is reason to celebrate. There are certainly still areas of slog — I’m hearing reports of pain in California from readers who aren’t in the big metros of Los Angeles or San Francisco, for example. But David Blitzer, chairman of the committee that publishes the indices, noted in the report’s release that all but three cities in the index saw their rates of change increase from April. (The missing trio are Boston, Charlotte, and Detroit; all those cities did ring up positive May changes, but they’re less improved than before.)

Will the good news carry over into summer? Blitzer was cautious in the report, noting that “we are definitely in a wait-and-see mode for the next few months.” That may be true, but at least this month’s data was reason to be optimistic.

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Firozali A.Mulla
Firozali A.Mulla

Mudslinging

is, has been and will be in the economy if any wants to rise up to the heights

of the pseudo leadership. Why. When we are there we are still not in the

economy and not in the hearts of the public. We slice the religion use this and

for what we have no idea “President Obama is embarrassed to visit

Israel,” the ad states. “Mitt Romney is proud to visit and proud to say: ‘It’s

a deeply moving experience to be in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.’”Despite

President Barack Obama’s stories about a resurgent GM ready to repay its

bailout tab, the automaker and its former bank still owe taxpayers nearly

$42 billion, according to an inspector general’s report. GM owes $27

billion on the nearly $50 billion it received from the auto bailout and Ally

Bank, the company’s lending arm, owes $14.7 billion of the $17.2 billion

taxpayer-funded bailout it received. Obama has promoted the auto bailout as a

success story, highlighting the manufacturing jobs it may have saved in swing

states such as Ohio and Michigan “I refused to turn my

back on a great industry and American workers. I bet on American workers. I bet

on American manufacturing,” he said at a campaign

rally in Oakland. “Three

years later, the American auto industry has come roaring back.” GM’s stock has

plummeted in recent months after stagnant development in overseas markets. It

hit a new low on Wednesday, falling to $18.80, a 52

percent drop from its January

2011 high of $38.90. The rapid decline of the stock price has kept taxpayers on

the hook for billions in unpaid bailout dollars. The stock would need to make a

quick—and meteoric—turnaround for taxpayers to break even. “In order to recoup

its total investment in GM, Treasury will need to recover an additional $27

billion in proceeds. This translates to an average of $53.98 per share on its

remaining common shares in New GM,” the IG report concluded. The federal

government has maintained a 32 percent ownership interest in GM, despite

promises to sell off its shares after the November 2010 IPO. The administration

has also maintained a controlling interest in Ally Financial, formerly known as

GMAC. I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA

Firozali A.Mulla
Firozali A.Mulla

Only problem

I see is the logic and law never meeting More unemployment and more suicides from

the poor. Weeks have gone, and guess will go , but we will stay where we are for

a long time. If banks cannot give cash, no one can. So why worry. San Bernardino filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday citing more than $1

billion of debts and making it the third California city to seek protection from

creditors. The city of about 210,000 residents 65 miles east of Los Angelesdeclared a fiscal crisis last

month after a report said local government had tapped out its reserves and

projected spending would top revenue by $45 million in the fiscal year that

began on July 1. The filing, made in the United States Bankruptcy Court, Central California District, states that the

city has "more than $1 billion" in liabilities, and estimated that it

has between 10,001 and 25,000 creditors. It also states that San Bernardino has

estimated assets of more than $1 billion. San Bernardino's city council voted

on July 24 to adopt an emergency three-month fiscal plan that would suspend

debt payments, freeze vacant jobs and quit paying into a retiree health fund

while city staff produces a more detailed( mind you this is still in pipeline I

think)  bankruptcy plan. "The

bankruptcy filing was just to get the protection in place, to kick the process

off," a city spokesperson said. In late July, San Bernardino reported it

had $56 million in indebtedness payable from its general fund, the main budget,

including payments on a $50 million pension bond. There is an additional $195

million in unfunded pension obligations, $61 million in unfunded retiree

healthcare, and $40 million of workers compensation, compensated absences and

general liabilities. In the past two months, the cities of Stockton and Mammoth

Lakes have also filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, a special bankruptcy

provision for municipalities. Stockton, which like San Bernardino has suffered

from the housing crash that was particularly acute in southern California, filed for bankruptcy in June,

becoming the largest U.S. city to do so. Other cities in California are also in

deep fiscal trouble and more could file for bankruptcy. Cities have had the

option of filing for bankruptcy since a law was passed during the Great

Depression, but it is a relatively rare occurrence. Only about 640 such filings

have been made since 1937. The three California bankruptcy cases will be

closely watched by investors and markets. They will be major test cases of

whether cities in financial trouble can be allowed to renege on their bond debt

and pension obligations. The heart has its reasons that reason knows

nothing of. -Blaise Pascal, philosopher and mathematician (1623-1662) . I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GRNY Renovation
GRNY Renovation

We read the headlines about the housing market's inevitable recovery with caution, especially for prospective homebuyers. Conditions can vary widely from one neighborhood to the next. By the way, NYC is doing better than last year in that matter. As Zillow.com puts it in the details of calling a bottom in the housing market, "The recovery is a highly local process." Zillow had compared home prices from July 2011 to July 2012 in over 150 metro areas, with breakdowns by ZIP Code. While the results are encouraging overall, some ZIP Codes continue to fare poorly. The ideal survey would look at prices of individual homes that have changed hands more than once, but not many homes sell more than once in a 12 mo period, so average prices for the area are generally the best data available. Bottom line: As the real estate market heats back up, homeowners have a great opportunity to increase the overall value and desirability

of their home by doing a conscious investment through remodeling at this time when economy in NYC is picking up again.

GRNY Renovation
GRNY Renovation

We read the headlines about the housing market's inevitable recovery with

caution, especially for prospective homebuyers. Conditions can

vary widely from one neighborhood to the next. By the way, NYC is doing better than last year in that matter. As Zillow.com puts it in the details of calling a bottom in the housing market, "The recovery is a highly local process." Zillow had compared home prices from July 2011 to July 2012 in over 150 metro areas, with breakdowns by ZIP Code. While the results are encouraging overall, some ZIP Codes continue to fare

poorly. The ideal survey would look at prices of individual homes that have

changed hands more than once, but not many homes sell more than once in a

12 mo period, so average prices for the area are generally the best

data available. Bottom line: As the real estate market heats back up, homeowners have a great opportunity to increase the overall value and desirability

of their home by doing a conscious investment through remodeling at this time when economy in NYC is picking up again. Additional news at http://news.yahoo.com/grny-ren...