Asking Home Prices Set New Records While Rents Ease as Supply Expands – by Elaine360

The Trulia Price Monitor and the Trulia Rent Monitor are the earliest leading indicators of how asking prices and rents are trending nationally and locally. They adjust for the changing mix of listed homes and therefore show what’s really happening to asking prices and rents. Because asking prices lead sales prices by approximately two or more months, the Monitors reveal trends before other price indexes do. With that, here’s the scoop on where prices and rents are headed.

Asking Prices Rise a Record 0.9% Month-over-Month Nationally
In January, asking prices rose 0.9% month-over-month, seasonally adjusted — the highest monthly gain since the price recovery began. Year-over-year, asking prices rose 5.9%; excluding foreclosures, asking prices rose 6.5%. Quarter-over-quarter prices rose 2.2%, seasonally adjusted. Prices typically fall in the wintertime, but asking prices still rose slightly (0.3%) quarter-over-quarter even without seasonal adjustment, indicating the strength of the price recovery. Asking prices were up year-over-year in 86 of the 100 largest metros.

Most Housing Markets with Biggest Price Gains Aren’t Healthy
Should we all envy Phoenix, where prices have risen 24.8% year-over-year? Probably not. Huge price gains in Phoenix and elsewhere are not necessarily a healthy sign. As part of our 2013 housing outlook, we ranked the 100 largest metros on the health of their housing markets, based on three market fundamentals: strong job growth, low vacancy rate, and low foreclosure inventory. On this list of healthiest markets, Houston ranked #1.

Weaknesses on these fundamentals are red flags for a local housing market – even when prices are galloping ahead. Few of the markets with the biggest price gains are “healthy” in terms of these fundamentals: eight of the 10 top price gainers were in the bottom half of the “healthy markets” ranking. For example, Detroit – despite a 14.2% price increase – was dead last, ranked 100 out of 100. None of the 10 markets with the largest price gains was also among the top 10 healthiest markets for 2013, though San Francisco came close, with the 11th largest price increase and the 2nd healthiest market.

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DRE #00598428
Senior Director, Coldwell Banker New Homes Division
With over 200 condominium, townhome and loft projects successfully marketed

“Fewer properties for sale with such remarkably low interest rates make it a great time to sell but a more difficult time to buy”