Last week in real estate

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!

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