Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Los Angeles and Phoenix posted the largest price increases in December 2009.

Home prices rise 0.3 percent in December, the 7th monthly gain

On Tuesday February 23, 2010, 9:28 am EST

MIAMI (AP) -- Home prices rose for the seventh straight month in December, a sign of price stability as the U.S. housing market continues its bumpy road to recovery.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index released Tuesday rose 0.3percent from November to December, to a seasonally adjusted reading of 145.87. The index was off 3.1 percent from December last year, nearly matching analysts' estimates that it would fall by 3.2 percent.

Only five of 20 cities in the index showed declines from November to December. The index is now up more than 3 percent from its bottom in May, but still 30 percent below its May 2006 peak.

Los Angeles and Phoenix posted the largest price increases. The worst performer was Chicago with a 0.6 percent decline.

Rising prices are a key to the nation's economic recovery because they make homeowners feel wealthier and more comfortable to spend money. Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of all economic activity.

Price increases also help rebuild equity for homeowners who currently owe more on their mortgages than their properties are worth. Roughly one in three homeowners with a mortgage are now in that position, according to Moody's Economy.com.

The housing market is seeking stability as it bounces back from a four-year recession. Sales of previously occupied homes fell almost 17 percent in December, the largest monthly drop in 40-years of record-keeping, the National Association of Realtors said. Data for January will be released Friday, with analysts forecasting a 1 percent rise.

Sales of newly built homes are expected to rise 5.3 percent in January, after declining sharply a month earlier. The Commerce Department will release new data on Wednesday.

On a quarterly basis, U.S. home prices fell 2.5 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2008.

The Case-Shiller indexes measure home price increases and decreases relative to prices in January 2000. The base reading is 100; so a reading of 150 would mean that home prices increased 50 percent since the beginning of the index.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Significant drop in pre-foreclosures posted in January, raising hopes for positive trend

Correct, the numbers right now are, "follow the bouncing ball" and will continue to change in either direction for the next eight to ten months. By Q4 2012 we will begin full recovery mode. This for now will be the normal trend, but indicators show we have hit a soft market bottom that will build a bumpy base for the next 18-24 months. Payam


Feb. 9, 2010 04:37 PM
by Catherine Reagor
The Arizona Republic .

January's significant drop in pre-foreclosures is the indicator many metropolitan Phoenix housing-market watchers have been anxiously looking for during the past several months.

For the first time since November 2008, the monthly tally of Valley homeowners to fall behind on their mortgages and face foreclosure is below 7,000. Actual foreclosures dropped as well, although their decline wasn't as dramatic.

Last month, there were 6,762 pre-foreclosures, or notice-of-trustee-sale filings, against Phoenix-area homeowners, according to the real-estate data firm Information Market. That is a 14 percent drop from the 7,879 pre-foreclosures filed by lenders in December. Pre-foreclosures hit a record 10,689 in March.

Metro Phoenix foreclosures, or trustee sales, dipped to 4,452 during January. That's down from the 5,244 homeowners who lost houses to foreclosure in December.

Monthly foreclosures have been hovering between 3,800 and 5,300 during most of the past 18 months, except in April, when they fell to 3,100. That drop was due mostly to a short-term federal moratorium on foreclosures.

Last month's drop in foreclosures could signal more successful loan modifications. The drop in pre-foreclosures could signal that more homeowners were able to make their payments or that lenders are being more proactive and working with struggling homeowners before they fall behind on their payments. February's foreclosure activity could cement or reverse either trend.

Loan legislation

A bill has been introduced to prohibit excessive fees on mortgages and the issuance of certain types of high-cost home loans in Arizona.

Senate Bill 1288, introduced by Sen. John Nelson, R-Glendale, calls for limiting negative-amortization mortgages as well as balloon payments and pre-payment penalties on most other mortgages. The Arizona attorney general backs the legislation, which is aimed at preventing another foreclosure crisis in the state.