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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Housing: Two Bearish Views on House Prices and Foreclosures

by Calculated Risk on 8/28/2012 05:04:00 PM

First a couple of bearish views on house prices - clearly residential investment has bottomed, but some analysts think house prices will fall further.

• From RadarLogic: Apparent Strength in Home Price Metrics Driven by Decline in Distressed Sales

A decline in sales of homes in bank inventories, coupled with an increase in the rate of all other sales, helped drive the 25 metropolitan area RPX Composite price to a year-over-year gain in June, according to the June 2012 RPX Monthly Housing Market Report ...
"The absence of real price appreciation when distressed sales are excluded from the analysis suggests that traditional home buyers remain hesitant to return to the market in strength," said Michael Feder, Radar Logic's CEO. "We continue to be concerned that this negative psychology could be the biggest risk threatening any real recovery in housing values. If it continues, the resultant imbalance between supply and demand could trigger another decline in home values."

The gains of the first half of 2012 could be short lived. They were the result of seasonal factors and REO disposition strategies that could reverse in the fall. The unusually rapid price appreciation could give way to equally rapid declines in the second half of the year.
• From Mark Hanson posted at the Big Picture: Hanson On Case Shiller
[T]oday’s CS is disappointing…a YoY 15% increase in purchasing power and 25% decrease in foreclosure resales and still the CS-20 NSA only managed a 0.5% gain over last year. To me, normalized, that means real house prices are still falling.
My view is house prices probably bottomed early this year (back when I wrote "The Bottom is Here").

And on foreclosures: CoreLogic® Reports 58,000 Completed Foreclosures in July
According to the report, there were 58,000 completed foreclosures in the U.S. in July 2012 down from 69,000 in July 2011 and 62,000* in June 2012. Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 3.8 million completed foreclosures across the country. Completed foreclosures are an indication of the total number of homes actually lost to foreclosure.
“Completed foreclosures were down again in July, this time by 16 percent versus a year ago, as servicers increasingly rely on alternatives to the foreclosure process, such as short sales and modifications,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Completed foreclosures remain concentrated in five states, California, Florida, Michigan, Texas and Georgia, accounting for 48 percent of all completed foreclosures nationwide in July.”
Case-Shiller: House Prices increased 0.5% year-over-year in June
House Price Comments, Real House Prices, Price-to-Rent Ratio
All Current House Price Graphs