S&P: Home Prices See New Bottom, Recovery On Deck

National home prices saw a new bottom in the first quarter, with the pace of the decline moderating, says the monthly Standard & Poors Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report released today. 

The national average fell by 2% during the first quarter of 2012 and was down 1.9% year-over-year, the report showed. Despite other indicators that suggested a more minimal decline on a monthly basis, all signs pointed toward a new bottom during the quarter. 

“While there has been improvement in some regions, housing prices have not turned,” says David Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. “This month’s report saw all three composites and five cities hit new lows. However, with last month’s report nine cities hit new lows. Further, about half as many cities, seven, experienced falling prices this month compared to 16 last time.”

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The rate of decline has moderated, however, suggesting that a recovery is near, Case-Shiller found. 

“There are some better numbers: Only three cities – Atlanta, Chicago and Detroit – saw annual rates of change worsen in March,” Blitzer said. “The other 17 cities and both composites saw improvement in this statistic, even though most are still showing a negative trend. …After close to six consecutive months of price declines across most cities, this is relatively good news. We just need to see it happen in more of the cities and for many months in a row.”

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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  • Optimism with NO foundation is an overvalued and overrated commodity.  

    What we are seeing are many people jumping up and down over modest increases in the number of home sales over last year, clearly a bad year for sales.  The next four months will establish the key trends for the following eight months unless something disastrous happens.  For our industry home sales are not the key ingredient; appreciating home values are.

    Again nothing points to more HECM endorsements for this calendar year over last.  Perhaps the Mortgage Bankers Association is correct in predicting that 2013 will be no worse than 2012 as to refinancing and slightly worse for purchase financing but it seems far too early to find significant substance in that outlook.

    The things which need support over the next 19 months are more promotion of adjustable rate Savers (for the sake of the program), more conversations with financial advisors and real estate licensees, and increased communication and cooperation among lenders to better analyze our marketing efforts and channels not in a way to unveil proprietary secrets but rather to help the industry reach a larger segment of senior community.

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