Last week gave us more proof the country’s housing market is heating up. According to Freddie Mac’s quarterly national Conventional Home Price Index (CMHPI), home prices were UP 0.9% in Q3 for their second quarterly increase in a row! And the Q2 number was revised upward to 2.0%! These rises have taken back about two-fifths of the price declines seen in Q4 of 2008 and Q1 of this year.
Freddie Mac’s chief economist said, “the home-price gains of the past two quarters reflect improving existing-home sales…. Sales volume was up 15% between the first and third quarters of this year.” He also added: “The lowest average fixed-rate mortgage rates in a half-century, lower house prices, incentives to encourage first-time buyers, and loan modification efforts to stem foreclosures have worked together to support sales and reduce the inventory of unsold homes.” The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index also reported a second consecutive quarterly price increase, theirs at 3.1%!
A separate study came in with inventory declines for the 17th straight month, showing listings down 2.42% for November versus October and down 27.64% from last year! A monthly Foreclosure Market Report showed an almost 8% decrease for November, down 15% from the July peak. We’re still above last year’s numbers, but finally trending in the right direction!