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Home Prices on the Rise across the United States: 2nd Qtr 2012

Home prices rose in nearly all major U.S. cities in April from March, further evidence that the housing market is slowly improving even while the job market slumps. The home price index shows increases in 19 of the 20 cities tracked. This is the second straight month that prices have risen in a majority of U.S. cities. San Francisco, Washington and Phoenix posted the biggest increases, while prices fell 3.6 percent in Detroit, the only city to record a drop. The month-to-month prices are not adjusted for seasonal factors. A measure of national prices rose 1.3 percent in April from March; prices in half of the cities are up over the past 12 months.

Prices are increasing as other parts of the housing market are strengthening. Sales of new and previously occupied homes are up over the past year, in part because mortgage rates have plunged to the lowest levels on record. Recent data indicate that the housing market has started to recovery more than five years after the bubble burst. The monthly index covers roughly half of U.S. homes. It measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. The April figures are the latest available. Its measure of home prices for all 20 cities fell 1.9 percent over the 12 months ending in April. That suggests weaker markets continue to weigh on national prices.

Although other measures show home prices have risen nationally over the past year. One private firm calculates that prices rose 1.1 percent nationally in the 12 months ending in May. Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, says prices have increased 3 percent in the 12 months ending in April. The supply of homes for sale remains extremely low, which has helped stabilized prices. The inventory of previously occupied homes is back down to levels last seen in 2006. There were 145,000 new homes for sale in May.

That’s only slightly higher than in April, which was the lowest supply on records dating back to 1963. Due to the greater interest from buyers, builders are more confident and are starting to build more new homes. In May, builders requested the highest number of permits to build homes and apartments in three and a half years. As builders try to replenish the market, they are targeting first-time homebuyers and expanding families who are trying to enter the game before prices get too high for them. They are not looking at small investors who want to buy homes so that they can turn into rental properties. Despite the modest gains in housing, the broader economy has weakened in recent months. Employers have added an average of only 73,000 jobs a month in April and May. That’s much lower than the average of 226,000 added in the first three months of this year. Some economists worry that the sluggish job market could weigh on home sales just as the housing market is showing signs of recovery.

For more information about the South Florida Real Estate Market, contact the Henri Frank Group at REMAX Preferred, located throughout Broward County, serving Broward County, Palm Beach County and Miami-Dade County. Offices in Fort Lauderdale at 2810 E Oakland Park Boulevard; 2166 Wilton Drive in Wilton Manors, FL, 2 University Drive in Plantation, Florida and on 2608 N Ocean Boulevard in Hillsboro Shores at the Hillsboro Outlet in Florida. Go to the Henri Frank Website for further information at or call them at 954-604-9999 or find them on FACEBOOK, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other Social Media online, search, HenriFrankGroup. The Realtors and Founders of the Group Frank Vigliotti and Henri Vezie work 7-days a week, so call us anytime.

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