" " " Maine's Waterfront Real Estate News: May 2013

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Home Prices Show Largest Gain in Years

Published May 28, 2013 Associated Press WASHINGTON – U.S. home prices jumped 10.9 percent in March compared with a year ago, the most since April 2006. A growing number of buyers are bidding on a tight supply of homes, driving prices higher and helping the housing market recover. The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index released Tuesday also showed that all 20 cities measured by the report posted annual gains for the third straight month . And prices rose in 15 cities in March from February. That's up from only 11 in the previous month. The monthly figures aren't seasonally adjusted and may reflect the beginning of the spring buying season. Annual prices rose in Phoenix by 22.5 percent, the biggest gain among cities. It was followed by San Francisco (22.2 percent) and Las Vegas (20.6 percent). New York City had the smallest annual increase at 2.6 percent, followed by Cleveland at 4.8 percent. The index covers roughly half of U.S. homes. It measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. The March figures are the latest available. The U.S. housing market is steadily recovering, buoyed by solid job gains and near-record low mortgage rates. Sales of new homes rose in April to nearly a five-year high. And sales of previously occupied homes ticked up in April to the highest level in three and a half years

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Home Prices up 10.5% in March

Julie Schmit, USA TODAY - Home prices in March were 10.5% higher than a year ago -- and a bit more if distressed sales weren't counted, says market researcher CoreLogic. The overall change was the biggest year-over-year jump in seven years and the 13th straight month for home price gains. "The pace of appreciation has been accelerating throughout 2012 and so far in 2013," says Mark Fleming, CoreLogic chief economist. For the month, home prices increased 1.9% in March from February, CoreLogic says. Excluding distressed sales, which are short sales and foreclosures, home prices were up 10.7% year over year. Price gains will slow slightly in April, CoreLogic says. It predicts prices will rise 1.3% month to month and be 9.6% higher than a year ago. But, excluding distressed sales, it says April prices will jump 12% year over year. Different home price indexes frequently come up with different results, but the trend is clear. Last week, the Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller index of 20 cities showed February prices up 9.3% year-over-year. Contributing to higher prices is rising demand among investors and home buyers for a limited supply of homes for sale, CoreLogic says. Fewer foreclosures and other distressed homes in the market can also inflate price changes. Including distressed sales, the five states with the highest home price appreciation in March vs. March 2012 were Nevada, 22%; California, 17%; Arizona, 17%; Idaho, 15%; and Oregon, 14%, CoreLogic says. Prices were lower year over year in only four states: Delaware, down 3.7%; Alabama, down 3.1%; Illinois, which dropped 1.8%; and West Virginia, down 0.3%.