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.

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