From the WSJ:
Today CoreLogic, a real-estate data provider, weighed in with its view of what’s happening with home prices. According to the firm, prices were up 2.5% in June, compared with a year earlier, and rose 1.3% compared with May.
June’s gains cap four straight months of both year-over-year and month-over-month increases in prices. And what’s more, CoreLogic is upbeat about the future: It’s predicting a 0.4% monthly rise and a 2% yearly jump for July prices when they are released next month.
The data come on the heels of three other price indexes that generally are showing that home prices nationally are either rising slightly or starting to see a slowdown in their declines.
But it’s worth remembering that this is the time of year for home-price gains.
As Capital Economics points out, the CoreLogic numbers may look good, but they probably don’t indicate anything much better than home prices remaining flat. More people go home shopping in the spring and summer than in the fall and winter, so it’s hard to compare numbers from one month without adjusting for seasonal factors. CoreLogic doesn’t account for seasonal trends in home sales.
Of course, annual comparisons are more meaningful than monthly ones, and CoreLogic is showing significant improvement over last year. Most economists agree that home prices have bottomed, but the more salient issue today, and the one that has most people worried, is whether or not the recovery will remain sluggish, or gain any real momentum.
Asking rents rose in 24 of the 25 largest rental markets from a year ago, according to a new report from online real estate company Trulia. Rents are pushing double digit gains in San Francisco, Miami, Oakland, Denver, Seattle and Boston, and rents are rising faster than asking prices in 21 of the 25 largest rental markets year-over-year.
“For the first time, [home] prices are up year over year in a majority of metros, and asking home prices have increased for six straight months,” writes Trulia’s chief economist Jed Kolko in a release. “Rents, however, are rising even faster than prices in most markets. These price and rent increases, along with declining vacancies, should encourage new construction, which means housing will finally start contributing to the economic recovery.”
The question remains, where is the tipping point? As it becomes more expensive to rent than buy in more markets, more Americans should turn to buying, but so far they are not. Issues with negative equity, credit and confidence continue to plague home buying.