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Home Prices Rise Overall, but Some Areas Seeing Sharp Declines

Home prices rose again nationally in September Lender Processing Services (LPS) said today, but in many areas, notably a lot of the older mill towns in the Northeast, prices are still declining, in some cases sharply.  LPS’s Home Price Index (HPI) was up 0.2 percent from August to $232,000 and has risen 8.2 percent since the beginning of the year and 9.0 percent since September 2012.

Nationally the HPI has climbed back to within 14.1 percent of the peak level reached in June of 2006 when the index was at $270,000.  In many states however, such as Florida (-35.1 percent) and even, despite its recent unprecedented gains, California (-25.3 percent) prices have far from fully recovered.

LPS derives its data from residential real estate transactions and its own property and loan-level data bases.  The HPI is the result of a repeat sales analysis representing the price of non-distressed properties by taking into account price discounts for bank-owned real estate and short sales.

Five states had increases in their HPI of half a percent or more from August to September, Nevada was up 0.8 percent, Georgia and South Carolina increased by 0.7 percent and both Florida and Illinois were up 0.5 percent.  The largest month-over-month declines were in Connecticut (-0.9 percent), New Hampshire (-0.6 percent), Massachusetts (-0.5 percent) and Colorado and Pennsylvania each of which declined 0.4 percent.

Colorado along with Texas established new peak prices in July but while Texas has gone on to even higher HPI levels and established another peak in September, Colorado has declined every month since.  The state is now down 0.7 percent from its recent peak.

The biggest price gains among metropolitan areas were almost all in the south.  Myrtle Beach, South Carolina gained 1 percentage point in September followed by Charleston South Carolina, Atlanta, and Miami with 9 percent increases.  There were five metro areas that were up 0.8 percent, Naples, Florida, Reno and Las Vegas, Ocean Pines, Maryland; and Key West. Austin, Texas gained 0.6 percent and established a new peak price at $241,000.

The big losers were mostly in New England.  Torrington (-1.0 percent), Bridgeport (-0.9 percent), and Norwich (-0.9 percent), Connecticut were followed by Springfield, Massachusetts and New Haven, down 0.8 percent.  York, Pennsylvania and Kennewick, Washington, down 0.7 percent.   Worcester, Massachusetts and Manchester, New Hampshire each lost 0.6 percent in value from September.  Denver, which had, along with Colorado, set a new peak in July is now off that peak by 0.8 percent after falling half a point in September.

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Home Prices Rise for 19th Straight Month; Pace Decelerating

Home prices posted a 19th consecutive monthly gain in August the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) said on Wednesday.  FHFA’s purchase only Home Price Index (HPI) rose 0.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from July but the 1.0 percent increase previously reported for July was revised down to 0.8 percent.

On a year-over-year basis the August index was up 8.5 percent.  Prices have now returned to the April 2005 index level but remain 9.4 percent below the home price peak attained in April 2007.

The index increased in seven of the nine U.S. Census Divisions in August with the South Atlantic and East North Central divisions experiencing declines.  The South Atlantic region, which encompasses all coastal states from Delaware to Florida plus West Virginia, was down 0.5 percent and the East North Central (Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio) division saw prices go down 0.3 percent.

The largest month-over-month increases were in the Mountain (Utah, Montana, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Idaho) and West North Central (Minnesota, both Dakotas, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri) divisions which rose 1.3 percent and 1.2 percent respectively.

The August 2012 to August 2013 changes were largest in the Pacific Region (California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, and Alaska) where prices appreciated 18.2 percent and the Mountain division with a 13.8 gain.  The smallest annual increase was in the Middle Atlantic division which consists of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and where prices were up 4.0 percent.

The FHFA index is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to or guaranteed by the government sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie May.

 

Article by Jann Swanson http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/10232013_fhfa_hpi.asp

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