US Home Prices Declines Are Gathering Speed

Recent stimulus-driven gains in US housing have already evaporated, leaving a glut of inventory and widespread devaluation. Every residential market included in the latest Altos report saw decline, …

Recent stimulus-driven gains in US housing have already evaporated, leaving a glut of inventory and widespread devaluation. Every residential market included in the latest Altos report saw decline, setting a new low for average home prices in the survey, while mortgage applications and refinancing requests also fell. See the following article from Property Wire for more on this.

Residential property price declines are gaining speed in the US while inventory levels are rising, adding more gloom and doom to the nation’s already stagnating real estate market.

The latest figures from data provider Altos Research shows that its 10-city composite price index decreased last month, and all 26 markets the firm tracks saw declines.

The average national house price fell to $469,910 in August, down about 1% from July and at the lowest level ever recorded by Altos. This follows a decline of 0.63% in June.

‘Where there had been blips of increased activity and asking price during the second quarter of 2010, those have been replaced by measurable decreases in price, as well as a steady increase in inventory,’ the report says.

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It reveals that nationally, week over week drops in price are gathering speed, making it clear that the small gains seen earlier in the year were generated by momentary external forces rather than an overall increase in consumer confidence.

Asking price declines in August were steepest in Phoenix at 5.1% and Miami at 3.11%, with notable decreases in Dallas, 2.4%, Boston, 2.21%, and Tampa-St. Petersburg 2.2%. The firm expects further declines in the autumn.

Inventory fell most significantly during the month in Austin with an 8% decline from July, while Houston’s inventory of homes rose almost 5%.

Another index is equally gloomy. The latest CoreLogic Home Price report shows that in July home prices were unchanged from last year, the first time since February that prices have not increased from 2009.

While national home prices were unchanged after a 2.4% increase in June, prices at state level are starting to spread. Mark Fleming, the chief economist at CoreLogic, said property prices fell in 36 states in July, twice the number in May and the highest since last November.

‘Although home prices were flat nationally, the majority of states experienced price declines and price declines are spreading across more geographies relative to a few months ago,’ he explained.

Idaho home prices dropped 12.6% from a year ago, the steepest decline of any state. Prices in Alabama dropped 9.7%, and 5.6% in Utah. Prices did appreciate 4.5% in Maine, the highest appreciation in the country. While in South Dakota home prices increased 4.3%, and 3.7% in California. Overall home prices have fallen 27.7% from the peak in April 2006.

In another piece of gloomy news the latest figures from the Mortgage Brokers Association show that loan applications fell 8.9% last week as purchase activity cooled and demand for refinancings moves away from record levels.

The MBA said its refinance index fell for the second week in a row after a month and a half of increases with a 10.8% drop from the week earlier. The seasonally adjusted purchase index fell 0.4%, while the unadjusted purchase index dropped 21.9% from the week earlier and is now 39.7% below the year ago.

This article has been republished from Property Wire. You can also view this article at
Property Wire, an international real estate news site.


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