Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Turning the corner in Real Estate???

Matt Harber with Keller Williams at www.prodigyteam.com passing on some information from a friend. Its a great read, encouraging for sellers and motivating for you buyers!

Real Estate Outlook: Case-Shiller Reports Reversing
by Kenneth R. Harney

When the Case-Shiller index reports that home prices have reversed course and are finally rising again, and you know that Case-Shiller has been the gloomiest, scariest-headline-producing monitor of the real estate market for the past three years -- some say: We have truly turned the corner here.

Not only are home sales up, new housing starts up, new permits up, but now the last of the doomsayers say that home prices are moving up. For the month of June, in fact, the Standard&Poor's Case-Shiller index found prices up in 14 of the 20 major markets it covers -- and up nationally by one half of one percent.

That's the first monthly gain in the heavily publicized Case-Shiller index in three years!

Other indexes that get less attention on the evening news began trending more positive a few months earlier, such as the federal government's "FHFA" index.

But the Case-Shiller news, late though it was, should send a loud message to consumers: We're past the low point of the cycle on prices: If you were waiting to buy at the bottom, well - we've passed that point.

So don't sit on the sidelines if you're serious about buying a house this year.

Case-Shiller found prices in Cleveland up 4 percent for the month, Dallas up by close to 2 percent, San Francisco, Washington DC and Chicago up by a percent or more. But the bottoming out on prices is hardly the only sign of the housing recovery underway:

* New home building is beginning again even in the hardest-hit markets. In California, June bullding permits soared by 17 percent over May. In the high-cost San Francisco area they were up by 20 percent.

* In Florida, sales of existing homes jumped by 28 percent, according to the Florida Association of Realtors. Condo sales were up by an average 37 percent for the month. And despite the foreclosures still weighing down Florida transactions, average prices in June managed to rise by two and a half percent!!

* The share of distressed homes as a percentage of total sales is also on the decline -- thirty one percent of sales in June versus 45 to 50 percent earlier this year, according to the National Association of Realtors.

* Meanwhile, the mortgage market continues to help sellers and buyers on the affordability front: According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, new applications for loans to buy homes remained steady last week. Thirty year fixed interest rates averaged 5.4 percent, while fifteen year loans went for an average 4.8 percent.

If I can help any of my readers...with more information about the market, about your neighborhood, about your house, or how you can start the process of owning your own home, please, visit Matt Harber's web page at www.prodigyteam.com.

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