Headlines – Week of August 14, 2011

August 29, 2011

Average Floridian getting younger

According to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau from the 2010 Census, the majority of Florida growth came from working-age adults, 18 to 64 years old, who settled in counties on the edge of major cities.

Two decades ago, Florida had the highest median age in the U.S.; 10 years ago, the state ranked No. 2. Based on the just-released numbers, it’s now No. 5.

Click HERE to see the summary tables from the Census Bureau’s American Fact Finder website.

Buying is Cheaper than Renting in Most U.S. cities

Home prices have taken such a beating and demand for rental units has increased so much that it’s now cheaper to buy a two-bedroom home than to rent one in most major U.S. cities.

According to real estate web site Trulia, buying was cheaper than renting in 74% of the country’s 50 largest cities in July. In just 12% of the cities, including New York, Seattle and San Francisco, renting was cheaper. In the remaining 14% of cities, renting was less expensive but close to the cost of buying.

In addition to a continuing decline in home prices, low interest rates have added strength to the buy side of the scale.

Full Article

Affordability Index Highest in 20 Years

To support the above message from Trulia another report from the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) indicate that nationwide housing affordability during the second quarter of 2011 hovered for the 10th consecutive quarter near its highest level in the more than 20 years.

According to the HOI, families earning the national median income of $64,200 could afford 72.6 percent of all new and existing homes sold in the second quarter. The affordability measure dipped slightly from the record high of 74.6 percent set in the first quarter, but it remained above the 70 percent threshold initially achieved in the first quarter of 2009.

Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa., was the most affordable major housing market in the country during the second quarter of the year. In Youngstown, 93.7 percent of all homes sold were affordable to households earning the area’s median family income of $54,900.

Also ranking near the top of the most affordable major metro housing markets were Syracuse, N.Y.; Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind.; Dayton, Ohio; and Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla.

Among smaller housing markets, the most affordable was Kokomo, Ind., where 95.8 percent of homes sold during the second quarter of 2011 were affordable to families earning a median income of $59,100. Other smaller housing markets ranking near the top of the index included Wheeling, W.Va.-Ohio; Lansing-East Lansing, Mich.; Bay City, Mich.; and Sandusky, Ohio.

New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J., led the nation as the least affordable major housing market during the second quarter of 2011. In New York, 25.2 percent of all homes sold during the quarter were affordable to those earning the area’s median income of $67,400. It marks the 13th consecutive quarter that the New York metropolitan division has held this position.

Other major metro areas near the bottom of the affordability index included San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif.; Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, Calif.; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif.; and Honolulu, respectively.

Ocean City, N.J., where 40.9 percent of the homes were affordable to families earning the median income of $70,100, was the least affordable of the smaller metro housing markets in the country during the second quarter. Other small metro areas ranking near the bottom included Laredo, Texas; Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif.; San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, Calif.; and Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, Calif.

Zillow: Bumpy Road Ahead for Real Estate

While home values remained essentially flat in the second quarter compared to the first quarter, they fell when compared to second-quarter 2010, according to a report from property search and valuation site Zillow.

The Zillow Home Value Index fell 6.2 percent year over year in the second quarter, to $171,600, the report said. A report released today from the National Association of Realtors found 72 percent of metro areas had seen year-over-year median sales price declines in the second quarter, with the U.S. median price falling 2.8 percent, to $171,900.

Of 154 markets tracked by Zillow, 142 (92 percent) saw value declines year over year, while 94 (61 percent) saw value increases quarter to quarter. That resulted in a 0.4 percent dip compared to the first quarter — the smallest quarterly drop in more than four years, the report said.

Zillow forecasts a true bottom in 2012, at the earliest. Factors preventing a recovery include a full foreclosure pipeline, high negative equity, and fluctuations in demand.

Of single-family homes with mortgages, 26.8 percent of homeowners owed more than their house was worth, a slight drop from 28.4 percent in the first quarter.

Foreclosure resales peaked in March 2011 at 21.4 percent of all sales, and dropped slightly in June, to 19.7 percent.

Year over year, Pittsburgh was the only metro among the nation’s 25 largest to experience median price appreciation, up 2.7 percent to $110,400. That market has remained the steadiest, posting only a 1 percent drop in appreciation since home values peaked in June 2006. Nationwide, home values have fallen 28.8 percent from that peak.

Full Article

Posted by Scott R. Lodde

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