Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Home prices continue climb in Collier, U.S


Home prices nationwide are on a tear, and the Naples-Marco Island metro area is close to the front of the pack.

When it comes to year-over-year price increases, the Naples-Marco Island metro area is outpacing many major cities, whether or not you include distressed sales, defined as bank-owned transactions and short sales.

CoreLogic did not publish Lee County numbers.

According to a report issued Tuesday, by real estate data provider CoreLogic, Naples-Marco Island is beating such big cities as Washington, D.C., New York, Philadelphia and Chicago. Prices in other major metro areas such as Los Angeles, Phoenix, Atlanta and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., are growing faster, however.

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index compares single-family home prices in April on a year-over-year and monthly basis. The index tracks repeat sales of the same houses over a three-decade time span and incorporates more than 6,800 Zip codes nationwide.

In Naples-Marco Island, home prices, including distressed sales, increased by 10.8 percent compared to a year earlier. On a month-over-month basis, prices grew by 5.1 percent. Excluding distressed sales, they rose 13.2 percent year-over-year and 3 percent the previous month.

Nationally, home prices rose 12.1 percent year-over-year and 3.2 percent month-over-month. Excluding short sales and bank-owned properties, prices rose 11.9 percent from a year earlier and 3 percent from the month before.

The national numbers represent the biggest year-over-year increases since February 2006 and the 14th consecutive monthly increase.

Do these large leaps mean consumers should worry about a new housing bubble, like the one which popped seven years ago? Sam Khater, deputy chief economist for CoreLogic, says no, because “prices have fallen so far from their peaks.”

Nationally, prices remain 22.4 percent below their April 2006 peak, including distressed sales. In Florida, which was infested with investors looking to cash in on vacation-home price run-ups during the boom and then hard-hit by foreclosures, prices are still 40.5 percent below the state’s peak, which happened in September 2006.

Still, CoreLogic expects that overall prices will stay on the upswing, at least for the short term. It projects that nationally, May’s prices will show an increase of 12.5 percent year-over-year and 2.7 percent month-over-month. Excluding distressed sales, CoreLogic expects they’ll increase 13.2 percent from a year earlier and 3.1 percent from April.

Tight inventory for both new and existing homes, coupled with pent-up demand from buyers, are driving the price bump-ups, the report stated.

Khater adds that both individual and institutional investors also are pushing up prices in many places as they scoop up properties, particularly bargain-priced foreclosures — though the pool of such properties is rapidly shrinking.

Florida is particularly popular with international investors from Latin America and Canada, he says.
Most investors are “laser-focused on low-hanging fruit” — properties costing less than $200,000 — both because they are more affordable and because they are most likely to see future price rebounds, he says.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

U.S. home prices jumped in April by most in 7 years

WASHINGTON – June 4, 2013 – U.S. home prices increased 12.1 percent in April from a year earlier, the biggest gain since February 2006, as more buyers competed for fewer homes.

Real estate data provider CoreLogic says prices rose in April from the previous April in 48 states. Prices also rose 3.2 percent in April from March, much better than the previous month-to-month gain of 1.9 percent.

Prices in Nevada jumped 24.6 percent from a year earlier, the most among the states. California’s gain was next at 19.4 percent, followed by Arizona’s 17.3 percent, Hawaii’s 17 percent and Oregon’s 15.5 percent.

More people are looking to purchase homes. But the number of homes for sale is 14 percent lower than it was a year ago. The supply shortage has contributed to the price increases.

Rising home prices can help sustain the housing recovery. They encourage more homeowners to sell. And they spur would-be homeowners to buy before prices increase further.

Home sales and prices began to recover last year, six years after the housing bust. They have been buoyed by steady job gains and low mortgage rates.

Sales of previously occupied homes ticked up to a 3 1/2 year high in April, according to the National Association of Realtors. And they are likely to keep growing: A measure of signed contracts to buy homes rose to its highest level in three years in April. There is generally a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed sale.

The limited supply of homes has also made builders more willing to ramp up construction. That’s creating more construction jobs. Applications for building permits rose in April to the highest level in nearly five years.

Prices rose in April from the previous year in 94 out of the 100 largest U.S. cities, CoreLogic said. That’s up from 88 in the previous month.

Los Angeles and Phoenix reported the biggest price gains among the cities, CoreLogic said. Prices in both cities leapt 19.2 percent compared with a year earlier.

They were followed by Atlanta and Riverside-San Bernardino, which both posted 16.5 percent gains. Dallas rounded out the top five, with a 10.2 percent increase.

Despite the large gains, home prices are more than 22 percent below their April 2006 peak, the CoreLogic survey found.

In Nevada, they are still 47.3 percent below their peak, and in Florida, prices are 40.5 percent below their peak.

Copyright © 2013 The Associated Press, Christopher S. Rugaber, AP economics writer. All rights reserved.