NY/NJ Makes Top 10 Buyers’ Markets

Posted in New Jersey Real Estate | 43 Comments

From Zillow:

Fall Housing Market Cools, Revealing New Top Metros for Buyers and Sellers

U.S. home values rose more slowly in August than they have in a year, and the cooling market offered a clear view of local markets that favor either buyers or sellers.

The nation’s hottest markets on the West Coast continued to favor sellers with quick sales and high asking prices. But some still-recovering markets remained a bargain for buyers as more homes went up for sale.

According to the latest Zillow analysis of buyers’ and sellers’ markets, sellers in the Bay Area, Seattle and Dallas have the most negotiating power, with final sale prices largely at or above asking. For those looking to buy a home, the Northeast and Midwest offer the most favorable conditions, as buyers are less likely to be faced with the fierce bidding wars seen across the West Coast and in larger cities across the country.

In this analysis, a sellers’ market is not necessarily one where home values are rising, but rather one in which homes are on the market for a shorter time, price cuts occur less frequently and homes are sold at prices very close to (or greater than) their last listing price. In buyers’ markets, homes for sale stay on the market longer, price cuts occur more frequently and homes are sold for less relative to their listing price.

Top 10 Buyers Markets

1. Providence, RI
2. Cleveland, OH
3. Philadelphia, PA
4. Milwaukee, WI
5. Chicago, IL
6. Pittsburgh, PA
7. Tampa, FL
8. New York/Northern NJ
9. Chincinnati, OH
10. Jacksonville, FL

“Prospects slightly better in New Jersey”

Posted in Foreclosures, Housing Recovery, New Jersey Real Estate | 123 Comments

From HousingWire:

New York’s foreclosure backlog isn’t going away until 2016, at least

The backlog that keeps the average property in the state New York in foreclosure proceedings for more than four years isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, the foreclosure logjam isn’t expected to dissipate until at least 2016, according to a new report from Moody’s Investors Service on foreclosures for loans in private-label residential mortgage-backed securitizations.

Due to New York’s judicial foreclosure process, a private-label RMBS loan in New York currently spends an average of 1,498 days in foreclosure proceedings before exiting. That’s up from 1,339 days as of 2013’s fourth quarter.

The number has continually grown since the fourth quarter of 2006, when properties were in foreclosure proceedings for an average of 271 days.

And while the number of loans in foreclosure fell from 40,693 to 38,213 in the second quarter of 2014, the figure is still above the foreclosure total at the end of 2009, when 36,844 properties were in foreclosure.

Just behind New York in ranking of states with the highest exposure to 60-plus days delinquent loans is New Jersey.

“New York and New Jersey together account for more than 20% of all loans in private-label RMBS that are more than 60 days delinquent, and the foreclosure timelines in the two states (which currently are five times as long as they were before the financial crisis) are the longest in the U.S. after Florida,” Moody’s said.

“The prognosis for New Jersey is better than for New York, however, because New Jersey’s lengthy foreclosure timelines are mainly the result of legacy issues.”

A private-label RMBS loan in New Jersey currently spends an average of 1,322 days in foreclosure proceedings before exiting, up from 1,080 days in 4Q13.

In New Jersey, the liquidation timeline for an REO property has dropped to 69 days from a peak of 175 days in September 2011. In New York, even though liquidation timelines extended in the second quarter of 2014, they have still narrowed to 114 days from 173 days at their peak.

Stuck In Place

Posted in Demographics, Economics, Employment, National Real Estate | 131 Comments

From HousingWire:

American mobility at historic low and not changing soon

The U.S. Census Bureau’s current population survey released on Tuesday shows that mobility is flat – at the same low level of 11.7% as the year before.

This comes despite the common assumption about those demographic darlings in the under-35 age range.

Just over one in 10 Americans moved in the year ending March 2014, unchanged from the year ending March 2013.

Jed Kolko, chief economist at Trulia (TRLA) said that at this rate, the typical American stays put eight and a half years between moves.

“Remember the old rule of thumb that people move every seven years? Well, that was true until around 2003. In fact, the mobility rate has been falling for decades, as we pointed out in this post last year,” Kolko says.

He notes that 50 and 60 years ago, Americans moved every five years on average. By the year 2000 that was changing to every seven years, and that average is growing.

“With the percentage of Americans moving stuck at 11.7% in 2014, mobility remains near the all-time low of 11.6% in 2011. That’s considerably below the 14% rate from the early 2000s,” Kolko writes. “The housing bust and recession offer possible explanations why people are stuck in place – things like negative home equity and few job opportunities to move for.”

Time to move out kids!

Posted in Demographics, Economics, Housing Recovery | 120 Comments

From CNBC:

Millennials start leaving Mom and Dad’s nest

As the U.S. economy improves and adds jobs, younger Americans—millennials—are slowly starting to move out from their parents’ basements, where a record number of them have been living for the past few years. They’re not buying homes as much as they are renting them, but how much and where is crucial to know in order to understand where the housing recovery is headed.

Over the past year, all the growth in net household formations has been among renters, according to the U.S. Census. For those 35 years old and younger, their home ownership rate has fallen from 44 percent to 36 percent over the past decade, which is why construction of multi-family apartments is at the highest level in a quarter-century this year.

But back to that migration from the basement. How big is it? Millennials will spend $1.6 trillion on home purchases and $600 billion on rent over the next five years, more per person than any other generation with more of them opting for more affordable rents versus paying the big price tags to buy homes, according to a new report from The Demand Institute, a non-profit think tank operated by The Conference Board and Nielsen. Millennials will form just over eight million new households, albeit most of them rental households.

The report found the millennials do aspire to home ownership, just as previous generations did, and they will be important drivers of the housing market. The difference between them and other generations, however, is that their time horizon for home ownership will be shorter, and their aspirations have been altered somewhat simply by the fact that they came of age in the Great Recession.

Is it really so easy to downsize?

Posted in Demographics, Economics | 132 Comments

From Forbes:

The Next Housing Crisis: Aging Americans’ Homes

There’s another potential housing crisis coming and this one won’t be a collapse in home values.

The nation is facing a lack of affordable, physically-accessible and well-located homes for America’s aging population — especially those with low incomes, according to a new, gloomy study released today by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies & AARP Foundation.

“You’ve got a scenario with the largest generation we’ve ever had moving into their senior years combined with the fact that longevity is increasing,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at Realtor.com, the site of the National Association of Realtors. “And we’re fairly ill prepared to address the housing needs and challenges of them.”

Fortunately, there’s time to address this crisis — but not much. In 15 years, one in five Americans will be 65 or older. And by 2040, we’ll have 28 million who are 80+.

“If things don’t change, low-income older people will be compromising their well-being in many respects,” says Chris Herbert, acting managing director of the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. “It’s an issue that will affect us all.” Housing, says Vivian Vassallo, vice president of Housing for AARP Foundation “is a lynchpin for well-being.”

Many houses and apartments — which are often old themselves — lack basic accessibility features, preventing older adults with disabilities from living safely and comfortably in their homes, according to the report.

Only 1% of U.S. housing units have all five of what are called “universal design” features: no-step entry; single-floor living; extra-wide doorways and halls; accessible electrical controls and switches and lever-style door and faucet handles. Just 57% of homes have more than one of them.

And, the study notes, no-step entryways appear in homes of only 46% of households headed by someone at least 50 and which have a person with serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs.

Say hi to Alice

Posted in Demographics, Economics, New Jersey Real Estate | 120 Comments

From the Star Ledger:

Struggling to survive: 38 percent of N.J. households can’t meet basic needs

Every day, Kim Ticehurst walks a financial tightrope.

A single mother in Montclair, Ticehurst lost her job in the construction industry in January. At 50, she has decades of experience in project management, planning, organization and design, but the scores of resumés she has submitted have been met with no response.

“It’s a horrible feeling,” she said last week. “You definitely confront times when you’re like ‘how do I get through this day?’”

She has pieced together employment, working part-time in childcare while she tries to get her new home-organization business off the ground. For the first time in months, she’s feeling optimistic.

But she knows the littlest of things, from a toothache to a car accident, could turn her life upside-down.

A new study conducted by the United Way of Northern New Jersey shows an alarming number of New Jersey residents are in Ticehurst’s position. Data compiled by the group show that 38 percent of New Jersey households are struggling to meet basic needs. These households are just scraping by, one lost job or medical emergency away from potential fiscal ruin.

The report, called ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed), paints a stark picture of how widespread financial hardship like Ticehurst’s is in New Jersey.

While 11 percent of state residents fall below the Federal Poverty Line, which stands at an annual income of $22,811 for a family of four, the report found that when adjusted for cost of living the same family needs nearly triple that — $61,200 – just to meet a basic survival budget.

In one of the wealthiest states in the country, 1.2 million households fall below this threshold. And while the state’s economy has shown signs of recovery in the wake of the Great Recession, the number of households struggling by the United Way measure increased by about 24 percent from 2007 to 2012, the most recent data available.

“I had expected things would have improved since the recession, to be honest,” said Stephanie Hoopes Halpin, the author of the report and director of the New Jersey DataBank at Rutgers University. “I think what strikes me most is how vulnerable these people are. You look at Superstorm Sandy, for example. You had tons of people who didn’t even take on any water during the storm, but had their savings wiped out just by not working for two weeks. You have to think about the fact that there are individual emergencies like that every day that don’t get national headlines.”

Among the findings:

• ALICE households exist in every age bracket in New Jersey, but the largest segment of the group is those who are typically in their income earning prime. Households headed by those aged 25-64 represent 75 percent of those beneath the ALICE threshold.

• The average budget needed to provide basic needs, both for the individual and the family household in New Jersey, increased by 19 percent from 2007 to 2012.

• High paying jobs are scarce. Jobs paying less than $40,000 a year now comprise 53 percent of all jobs in New Jersey, and these jobs are projected to be the primary source of labor growth in the coming years.

“I think this sort of verifies for all of us that ALICE isn’t going away,” said John Franklin, CEO of the United Way of Northern New Jersey. “People really begin to understand that we’re not just talking about some number somewhere. We’re talking about a huge portion of our population.”

The New Boomer Ball and Chain

Posted in Demographics, Economics, Mortgages, National Real Estate | 42 Comments

From the NYT:

Housing Costs After Retirement

Paying off the mortgage isn’t the priority it once was, and for many households, it isn’t even a possibility. But a new report from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies reaffirms the common belief that retirees who own their homes outright are considerably better off than those carrying mortgages or paying rent.

The report, called “Housing America’s Older Adults,” focuses on the changes needed to supply sufficient affordable housing for the country’s 50-and-over population, which is projected to increase about 20 percent by 2030. The report found that paying off a mortgage dramatically reduces housing costs and provides an equity cushion to help cover other major expenses.

About a third of mortgaged households between the ages of 50 and 64 are moderately to severely burdened by housing costs, which include property taxes, insurance and utilities, the report said. (Moderately burdened is defined as spending 30 to 50 percent of income on housing costs; severely burdened households dedicate more than half their income to housing.)

But among similarly aged homeowners without mortgages, only 12 percent are cost-burdened.

Because income declines with age, the housing burden rises dramatically for households aged 80 and over. Nearly two-thirds of these households still paying mortgages are cost-burdened, compared with less than a quarter of homeowners over 80 without mortgages.

Lower-income renters are in the worst financial position. Some 77 percent of renters over 50 with annual incomes below $15,000 are cost-burdened, as well as about half of those with incomes from $15,000 to $29,999. Unlike homeowners, renters lack an equity cushion to ease the strain.

“Those groups are going to struggle through much of their retirement years,” Mr. Herbert said, “and at the end have very little to draw upon.”

Among baby boomers with mortgage debt, more are carrying it into retirement. As of 2010, 40 percent of households 65 and up were still paying a mortgage, compared with about 18 percent in 1992, according to the report.

Where are all the NJ foreclosures?

Posted in Foreclosures, Housing Recovery, South Jersey Real Estate | 138 Comments

From the Star Ledger:

Foreclosures spiking in N.J., paced by Atlantic City

Foreclosure activity in New Jersey jumped in August, a new report shows, leaving the state with one of the highest foreclosure rates nationwide.

New Jersey has the nation’s fourth-highest foreclosure rate, according to housing data released today by RealtyTrac, with foreclosure filings on one in every 553 homes in the state. Only Florida, Nevada and Maryland had higher foreclosure rates. Housing and real estate experts attributed the steep increase to a backlog of foreclosures that are now moving through the system.

Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, said the foreclosure process in New Jersey had become dysfunctional over the last years and now he said, “it’s slowly but surely returning to a functional” process.

The foreclosure process started on nearly 4,500 homes in New Jersey last month, an increase of 115 percent from August 2013. Scheduled foreclosure auctions saw a 71 percent increase during the same time frame, to the highest level since July 2010.

Of the five counties in New Jersey with the highest foreclosure rates, four are in the southern half of the state. Atlantic County leads the pack followed by Cumberland, Sussex, Salem and Camden counties.

In Atlantic City, where casinos have been shuttering, foreclosure activity increased on a year-over-year basis for the 28th time in the last 30 months.

According to RealtyTrac, the city’s foreclosure rate ranked the second highest for a metropolitan area nationwide. One in every 292 housing units in the city had a foreclosure filing in August. That’s nearly four times the national average, the report said.

“New Jersey has a judicial foreclosure process, which takes much longer to carry out and has caused backlogs in courts around the state,” said Jarrod Grasso, CEO of the New Jersey Association of Realtors. “We know that many homeowners have faced foreclosure in the last few years, so it makes sense that the cases are now starting to be processed.”

Daniel Boddy, a real estate agent at Century 21 Frick Realtors in Galloway, said he’s noticed a jump in foreclosure activity throughout the area recently.

“Not necessarily just in Atlantic City, but in our area in general they are up a lot higher than they were last year,” he said.

Boddy also attributed the increase in foreclosures to an easing of a logjam of cases, in part caused by a freeze on foreclosures by major mortgage firms, and the state’s lengthy foreclosure process.

“It’s not something that is just starting to happen because of casino closings,” Boddy said. But, he said, “those aren’t going to help.”

NJ foreclosure auctions up 71%

Posted in Foreclosures, Housing Recovery, New Jersey Real Estate | 67 Comments

From the Philly Inquirer:

N.J. foreclosure filing rate up 115% from last year

New Jersey’s foreclosure-filing rate skyrocketed in August, by 115 percent over the same month in 2013, pushing the state into the Top Five, housing-data analytics firm RealtyTrac said Thursday.

The Garden State had the fourth-highest U.S. foreclosure-filing rate, one in every 553 housing units, RealtyTrac reported. By contrast, Pennsylvania saw its filing rate continue to fall, by 12.06 percent year over year.

Among the nation’s metropolitan areas, Atlantic City had the second highest foreclosure-filing rate – one in every 292 housing units, or nearly four times the national average. It was the 28th consecutive month that the hard-pressed resort city experienced an increase in foreclosure filings.

Nationwide, August’s filing rate – one in every 1,126 housing units – was down 9 percent from the same month a year ago, RealtyTrac said.

For the United States as a whole, “the August foreclosure numbers demonstrate that although the foreclosure crisis is well behind us, the messy business of cleaning up the distress lingering from the housing bust continues in many markets,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

New Jersey’s foreclosure-auction rate rose 71 percent year over year.

“With the long processing time to complete a foreclosure in New Jersey, I see this increase in bank-owned properties as a result of issues that were occurring three-plus years ago,” Lentz said.

Asking Prices and Rents up in August

Posted in Demographics, Economics, Employment, Housing Recovery, National Real Estate | 80 Comments

From HousingWire:

You won’t believe the 10 markets where price gains were strongest

Home price rose a mere 1% month-over-month in August, according to the latest reports from Trulia.

Nationally, the month-over-month increase in asking home prices rose to 1.0% in August, up a bit from 0.7% in July.

Asking prices rose 7.8% year-over-year, slower than one year ago, in August 2013, when asking prices were up 9.9% year-over-year. At the local level, asking prices rose year-over-year in 96 of the 100 largest U.S. metros.

According to Trulia’s Price Monitor and Rent Monitor, the South is rising again.

Seven of the 10 U.S. metros with the largest year-over-year price increases are in the South, including the top four: Miami, Florida; Birmingham, Alabama; Lakeland-Winter Haven, Florida and West Palm Beach, Florida.

These 10 metros include markets where prices are now rising much faster than one year ago and markets where prices are slowing down.

“The housing markets with the slowest price increases (and, in four metros, decreases) are clustered in the Northeast, such as in upstate New York,” said Jed Kolko, chief economist for Trulia. “Why is that? These markets had a mild housing bubble and bust last decade and therefore are now having only a slight price recovery; they’ve also had relatively weak job growth recently.”

Kolko reports that foreclosures have shaped where and when home prices have recovered. Foreclosed homes tend to depress neighboring home values and sell at a discount.

“But once most of the foreclosures in a market are sold, then overall inventory tightens – especially at the low end – giving home prices a boost. In states with a non-judicial foreclosure process, such as California, Michigan, and Texas, foreclosures don’t have to go through the courts,” Kolko said.

“But now, even judicial states are seeing the light at the end of the foreclosure tunnel and are getting their own price boost. In August 2014, asking prices on for-sale homes excluding foreclosures were up 6.9% year-over-year in metros in judicial states, only slightly behind the 7.8% increase in metros in non-judicial states. In contrast, in August 2013, the year-over-year price gain was 14.1% in non-judicial states and just 5.1% in judicial states,” he said.

Renters by choice?

Posted in Demographics, Economics, Employment, Mortgages, National Real Estate | 94 Comments

From the Washington Post:

Renters fear they lack the credit, not just the cash, to buy a home

Many renters who want to buy a home might not even try to because they fear that they won’t qualify for a mortgage, researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York concluded Monday after analyzing the results of a consumer sentiment poll.

The renters on average said they had a 63 percent chance of moving during the next three years, but only 44 percent would buy a home if they moved. Those who were reluctant to buy cited traditional reasons, including not enough savings or income. But a sizeable portion (41 percent) also said they were worried that their credit scores would not pass muster. (Note that the 344 renters surveyed could check more than one reason for not buying.)

As we wrote Sunday, lenders have shied away from extending mortgages to less-than-stellar borrowers in a bid to shield themselves from financial penalties and lawsuits. They’re demanding higher standards from borrowers seeking government-backed loans than even the government requires. And policy makers fear that the lack of access to credit is hurting the housing market’s recovery.

But even if the lenders were to ease their credit standards, it’s unclear whether many renters would bother to apply for a mortgage, according to researchers Andreas Fuster, Basit Zafar and Matthew Cocci. In their analysis, they concluded that many potential buyers with relatively low credit scores (meaning below 680 in this analysis) feel “discouraged,” convinced that they would not qualify for a loan.

Of course, if lenders eased up, perhaps consumer perceptions would change. But for now, about two-thirds of the renters surveyed said it would be somewhat or very difficult for them to get a mortgage. The chances of buying a home for those who think it would be tough to get a mortgage are about half what they would be for those 5 percent who think securing a loan would be easy, the analysis shows.

Murder Shmurder

Posted in Comp Killer, General, New Jersey Real Estate | 89 Comments

From the Philly Inquirer:

On the House: On disclosure, and homes that languish on market

Lately, I have been going back to two things our listing agent drummed into my head when we were selling our last house.

Disclose, disclose, disclose was one. The other: work with the agent, not against him or her, and that will help sell the house for a good price.

There is a real estate disclosure law in Pennsylvania that spells out exactly what a seller must do to comply. Real estate agents are obligated to assist sellers in completing the form, and prospective buyers and their agents get copies.

New Jersey has no required disclosures that sellers must make. However, the courts have approved exceptions to common law designed to protect buyers against sellers who fail to disclose material facts or who hide information about their properties.

I mention disclosure first because of the July 21 decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upholding a lower-court ruling that failure to disclose a murder/suicide to the buyer of a house in Thornbury, Delaware County, did not violate the law.

Pennsylvania’s disclosure law covers only material defects, not psychological issues, the justices ruled.

The lawyer for listing agent Re/Max Town & Country in West Chester, Abraham Reich of Fox Rothschild, who successfully argued the case before the justices, said something worth repeating.

There is nothing in the ruling that prohibits buyers from asking questions, Reich said. “A home is a substantial purchase where you’re investing a lot of money, and every buyer has the right to ask if a crime took place at the property, as well as research through public record and media reports of major events that may have occurred.”

Noelle M. Barbone, office manager at Weichert Realtors in Media, said she urges her agents “to have the discussion with the seller to disclose once we have an offer on the table and the price and terms are negotiated.”

“I recommend at that point letting the buyer’s agent know the situation and giving the buyer the opportunity to back out,” Barbone said. And if the buyer does, indeed, back out, “then we avoided a potential legal battle.”

“It is just the right thing to do,” she added.

Case Shiller Revised – House Price Collapse Not So Bad

Posted in Economics, Housing Recovery, National Real Estate | 129 Comments

From Bloomberg:

Case-Shiller Redo Shows Less Severe U.S. Home-Price Slump

The collapse in U.S. home prices that stoked the worst recession since the Great Depression wasn’t quite as severe as initially estimated, according to data from S&P/Case-Shiller.

Property values nationally fell 26 percent from the February 2007 peak to the December 2011 trough, not 34 percent as previously reported, revised data showed last week. The index will now be issued monthly rather than quarterly.

The change is the result of CoreLogic Inc. (CLGX)’s $6 million purchase of the S&P/Case-Shiller index from technology company Fiserv Inc. in March 2013. Case-Shiller has spent more than a year retrofitting its model with CoreLogic’s bigger, higher-quality data set, leading to a change in how the index looks.

Don’t read too much into that, said Case-Shiller principal economist David Stiff. The index only looks different because it’s been rebuilt with new, higher-quality data, he said.

In a crowded field of home-price data, Case-Shiller grabs the spotlight. Created in the early 1990s by Wellesley College Professor Emeritus Karl Case and Nobel Prize winner Robert Shiller, it’s known for its gauge of home values in 20 cities, which tracked the housing collapse in grim monthly installments.

Nationally, home values have climbed 19.4 percent since touching bottom almost three years ago, the new data show. They’re now 11.6 percent off the prior peak, compared with a previously estimated shortfall of 18.6 percent through the first quarter.

“They can say don’t read too much into it, but it is a different picture,” said Bank of America economist Michelle Meyer. “We don’t have as big of a hole to climb out of and the gains we’ve seen so far are that much more impressive.”

September Beige Book

Posted in Demographics, Economics, Employment, New Jersey Real Estate | 116 Comments

From the Fed:

Beige Book – September 3, 2014 – New York

The Second District’s economy has continued to expand at a moderate pace since the last report. Prices of finished goods and services remain generally steady, while businesses continue to report moderate upward pressure on input prices. Labor market conditions continue to improve: Overall, business contacts report some pickup in hiring, and employment agencies describe the job market as strengthening. Service sector firms report that growth has picked up slightly since the last report, while manufacturers say that growth has moderated somewhat. General merchandise retailers report that sales were mixed in July but improved in early August; auto dealers report that sales were mixed but generally steady. Tourism activity has continued to show strength since the last report. Home sales and rental markets were steady to stronger, with inventories still low but rising. Commercial real estate markets have been mixed. Finally, banks report that household loan demand has leveled off but that demand from commercial borrowers continues to grow; they also note little change in credit standards and ongoing declines in delinquency rates across the board.

The District’s housing markets have been mixed but a bit firmer, on balance, since the last report. New York City’s rental market has continued to strengthen, with rents rising at a moderately brisk rate, while the city’s co-op and condo market has been generally stable. Across much of the District, including New York City, home resale activity has receded somewhat, while the inventory of available homes has risen slightly but remains low; selling prices are flat to up slightly. One homebuilding contact in northern New Jersey notes that the tone of the market is fairly positive for multi-family (mostly rental) construction, and that developers are building more ahead of demand. In contrast, single-family developers are reluctant to build any significant inventories of new homes. A contact in New York City notes that there is a good deal of new development in the pipeline and expects sales and closings to pick up in the months ahead; this contact also sees a good deal of new construction in the planning stage–largely condos in Manhattan and rental apartments in Brooklyn and Queens.

The labor market has shown further signs of strengthening since the last report. Manufacturers continue to add workers, on balance, and considerably more plan to increase than to reduce staffing levels in the months ahead. A growing proportion of service firms say they are hiring, though there has been little change in the proportion that say they are raising wages. One major New York City employment agency reports that hiring activity has continued to improve gradually, while another reports more widespread strengthening and notes increased wage pressures across the board. A growing proportion of workers are said to be switching jobs for increased pay. One trucking industry analyst reports that the industry is doing well but cites a chronic shortage of drivers and notes that this has intensified somewhat in recent months.

29 consecutive months of price increases

Posted in Housing Recovery, National Real Estate | 117 Comments

From CoreLogic:

CoreLogic Reports Home Prices Rose By 7.4 Percent Year Over Year In July

CoreLogic a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled services provider, today released its July CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI®) report. Home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased 7.4 percent in July 2014 compared to July 2013. This change represents 29 months of consecutive year-over-year increases in home prices nationally. On a month-over-month basis, home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased 1.2 percent in July 2014 compared to June 2014.

At the state level, including distressed sales, only Arkansas posted a decline in July 2014 with 0.9-percent depreciation. A total of 11 states, plus the District of Columbia, reached new highs in the HPI dating back to January 1976 when the index started. These states are Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Vermont.

Excluding distressed sales, home prices nationally increased 6.8 percent in July 2014 compared to July 2013 and 1.1 percent month over month compared to June 2014. Also excluding distressed sales, all 50 states and the District of Columbia showed year-over-year home price appreciation in July. Distressed sales include short sales and real estate owned (REO) transactions.

“While home prices have clearly moderated nationwide since the spring, the geographic drivers of price increases are shifting,” said Sam Khater, deputy chief economist for CoreLogic. “Entering this year, price increases were led by western and southern states, but over the last few months northeastern and midwestern states are migrating to the forefront of home price rankings.”

“Home prices continued to march higher across much of the U.S. in July. Most states are reaching price levels not seen since the boom year of 2006,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “Our data indicates that this trend will continue, with more states hitting new all-time peaks this year and into 2015 as the recovery continues.”

Including distressed sales, the five states with the highest home price appreciation were: Michigan (+11.4 percent), Maine (+10.6 percent), Nevada (+10.6 percent), Hawaii (+10.5 percent) and California (+10.5 percent).

Excluding distressed sales, the five states with the highest home price appreciation were: Massachusetts (+11.2 percent), New York (+9.7 percent), Maine (+9.5 percent), Hawaii (+9.2 percent) and Florida (+8.8 percent).

Including distressed transactions, the peak-to-current change in the national HPI (from April 2006 to June 2014) was -11.9 percent. Excluding distressed transactions, the peak-to-current change in the HPI for the same period was -8.3 percent.

The five states with the largest peak-to-current declines, including distressed transactions, were: Nevada (-36.4 percent), Florida (-33.0 percent), Arizona (-28.9 percent), Rhode Island (-26.9 percent) and New Jersey (-20.6 percent).

Including distressed sales, the U.S. has experienced 29 consecutive months of year-over-year increases; however, the national average is no longer posting double-digit increases.