All summer long, reports have been trickling in that the housing crisis is finally on the mend. Surely market data gathered from such reliable sources as the NAR, NAHB, FHFA, Case-Shiller, and Zillow can’t be wrong. Steven Russolillo of The Wall Street Journal’s Marketbeat, presented the body of evidence in an article on July 24th. Although some would say the walk down the road to recovery is being taken in baby steps, it’s still good news! Here’s a look at the upbeat highlights from the Marketbeat article:
- Housing prices were up by 1.3% in April based on findings from the S&P Case-Shiller Home Prices index. The data from FHFA showed that home prices rose for the 4th consecutive month. From one year ago, they are up by 3.7%. Zillow’s finding concur-and showed that home prices “in the second quarter rose from the year-ago period for the first time since 2007.”
- Stocks for builders were up 47% according to the Dow Jones US Home Construction index.
- Among home builders, the Pulte Group stocks were up 67% in 2012. Other gains were Lennar up 54%, D.R. Horton up 48%, Hovnanian up 74%, and Ryland Group rose by 67%. Home builder confidence was at its highest level in over five years according to the National Association of Home Builders.
- From June 2011, existing home sales rose by 4.5%.
- May’s sales for new homes reflected a 20% y-o-y increase. They have been consistently rising for 8 months in a row.
- Housing starts were at their best level in 4 years. In June, they increased 6.9% to 760,000. Since June 2011, housing starts are up by 24%.
Joel Naroff, the president of the economic consulting firm, Naroff Economic Advisors had this to say, “Home prices are turning upward, another clear indication that the housing market is in the midst of a comeback.”
Another reason for optimism is that mortgage rates continue to remain near historic lows. Last week, Freddie Mac’s weekly rate survey show both 15 year and 30 year home loan rate averages at new all-time lows