Housing industry experts in the U.S. have long speculated on when the market would find a bottom as prices continue to fall, but a new RE/MAX study shows the tide may be turning. The report, based on surveying sales in 53 metro areas, indicates residential property prices have increased year on year for the first time in 18 months. Twenty-four of the areas surveyed saw price increases, while 45 of the areas enjoyed marked sales increases. An 8% decrease in foreclosures from a year ago likely helped the market, although experts warn that a rise in foreclosures is expected now that many roadblocks holding back processing have been removed. For more on this continue reading the following article from Property Wire.
Residential property prices in the United States have increased year on year for the first time in 18 months, according to the latest figures from RE/MAX.
February has seen a ‘very active’ season, according to the estate agent franchise whose survey shows national home increased1.1% from a year earlier and 1.4% from January to $171,881.
Of the 53 metro areas included in the survey, 24 experienced price increases from February 2011, including Miami up 20.5%, Orlando, up 15.8%, Phoenix up 12.5%, Tampa up 11.1%, St. Louis up 9.8% and Detroit up 8.9%.
Home sales in February rose 8.7% from a year earlier, continuing a trend of eight straight months above the previous year’s total. February home sales climbed 8.1% above sales in January.
Of the metros, 45 saw increases over February 2011, with 26 jumping double digits, including Albuquerque up 46.6%, Providence up 36.7%, Raleigh up 33.8%, Boston up 30.5% and Chicago up 27.5%.
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‘All the data is pointing to a very active spring and summer selling season this year, which is great news for a recovering housing market,’ said RE/MAX chief executive Margaret Kelly.
‘As sales numbers have trended higher for several months, we have been anticipating a turnaround in home prices, and it looks like it’s finally starting,’ she added.
Properties sold in February stood on the market for an average of 103 days, the same as in January and a year earlier, according to RE/MAX findings. In the last 12 months, the average fell below 90 in only two months, at 88 in both July and September.
Meanwhile, the latest update from Realty Trac shows that overall foreclosure filings declined 2% from January to February even as foreclosure activity picked up in half of the nation’s major metro areas.
In February there were 206,900 foreclosure filings nationwide, down 2% from January and down 8% from a year ago. One out of every 637 housing units faced some type of foreclosure activity.
Some states posted increases in foreclosure activity. Foreclosure activity in the nation’s 26 judicial foreclosure states grew 2% from January and 24% from a year ago.
Meanwhile, the nation’s 24 nonjudicial foreclosure states saw a 5% decline in foreclosure activity month on month and a 23% drop from February of 2011.
‘February’s numbers point to a gradually rising foreclosure tide as some of the barriers that have been holding back foreclosures are removed,’ said Brandon Moore, CEO of RealtyTrac. ‘Although national foreclosure activity was pushed lower by decreases in a handful of larger states, 21 states posted annual increases in foreclosure activity, the most states with annual increases since November 2010,’ he added.
States with top foreclosure rates included Nevada, where one out of every 278 homes faced a foreclosure warning in February. Foreclosure activity in Nevada reached a 58 month low in February, but the state still posted the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate for the 62nd straight month.
In California the ratio is one out of every 283 homes and in Arizona one out every 312 housing units received a filing. Ten of the nation’s 20 largest metro areas by population documented year on year increases in foreclosure activity in February, led by the Florida cities of Tampa, up 64%, and Miami up 53%.
The 10 metro areas with increases were all on the East Coast or in the Midwest, while most of the metro areas with year on year decreases in foreclosure activity were in the West, led by Seattle, down 59%, and Phoenix, down 43%.
This article was republished with permission from Property Wire.