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Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Trulia: Asking House Prices increased in April, "Rent growth has slowed"

by Calculated Risk on 5/07/2013 11:46:00 AM

Press Release: Asking Home Prices Soared 8.3 Percent Year-Over-Year Nationwide, While Rents Rose Only 2.4 Percent

With the Spring house hunting season well underway, asking home prices rose 8.3 percent nationally year-over-year (Y-o-Y) in April. This time last year, asking prices fell 1.6 percent Y-o-Y. Seasonally adjusted, asking prices rose 1.3 percent month-over-month and 4.3 percent quarter-over-quarter. Regionally, asking prices were higher than one year ago in 95 of the 100 largest metros.

Strong job growth and the housing recovery go hand-in-hand. Nationally, job growth increased 1.5 percent Y-o-Y in March. In San Jose, Orange County, San Francisco, and Phoenix – where asking prices rose more than 18 percent Y-o-Y – job growth was well above the national average. In fact, only the Detroit suburb of Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, MI was among the list of top 10 markets with the highest price gains without above average job growth.

Rents rose 2.4 percent Y-o-Y nationally, but rent growth has slowed. In 19 of the 25 largest rental markets, rent gains Y-o-Y was slower in April than in January. In some markets, rents and prices are moving in the opposite direction, or nearly so: the four metros with the slowest rent growth or even declines – San Francisco, Las Vegas, Sacramento, and Seattle – all had price gains of more than 15 percent Y-o-Y.

“Although some of the home-price growth is a bounce back from the housing bust, job growth is boosting housing demand and lifting home prices,” said Jed Kolko, Trulia’s Chief Economist. “Investors don’t deserve all the thanks – or blame – for rising prices. Households are doing their part, too, as the economy recovers and more people go back to work and get on more solid financial footing. Local markets with strong job growth will see home prices continue to recover even after investors decide to cash out their gains and exit the market.”
On rents, this is similar to the quarterly Reis report on apartments. It appears that rent increases are slowing.

More from Jed Kolko: Not Just Investors: Local Job Growth Also Supporting Home Price Gains

Note: These asking prices are SA (Seasonally Adjusted) - and adjusted for the mix of homes - and this suggests further house price increases over the next few months on a seasonally adjusted basis.