Home prices are expected to rise

August 07, 2013

Housing news dominated the headlines yesterday with positive home price data hitting the wires. First up was CoreLogic reporting that its national Home Price Index on a year-over-year basis in the month ended in June rose by nearly 12% as the sector continues to improve. From May to June, prices rose by almost 2%. In addition, home prices are expected to rise by 12.5% year-over-year basis in July. However, prices are still down 19% from their peak hit back in April 2006. All of the figures include distressed sales.

To further bolster price appreciations in housing, Clear Capital reported that national home prices surged 9.3% in July 2013 from July 2012 and gained 1.6% over the last quarter. Clear Capital did say that prices remain 33.4% below peak values. For the last half of 2013, the firm sees a moderation in home price trends.

President Obama will be in Phoenix, Arizona later today speaking on the housing market and in particular, the future fate of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The government bailed out the two mortgage giants to the tune of nearly $200 billion after the housing market collapsed in 2008 and the plan is for their roles to diminish and let private sector capital take on a bigger role in the mortgage market.

On Monday, there was some good news and bad news reported in the past month if you are a potential homebuyer or looking to refinance your current home. The bad news is that home loan rates on the 30-year fixed conventional mortgage have gone from 3.5% to around 4.5% in the latest survey.

The good news is that mortgage lending standards eased for the fifth consecutive month, reports the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). The MBAs Mortgage Credit Availability Index report, which analyzes data from AllRegs Market Clarity product, the MCAI escalated to an index score of 112.3 in July, rising 2.2% from 109.81 in June.

The service sector of the U.S. economy perked up in July expanding more than expected rising to 56.0 from the 52.2 recorded in June. Readings over 50 indicate more companies are expanding instead of contracting. Of the 18 industries that were were surveyed, 16 reported growth last month. However, the employment gauge fell to 53.2 from 54.7.

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