Vacancies lead to falling home prices
2009/05/05, 6:35 pm
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The cities with the most vacant homes are in economically troubled areas – definitely not boom towns.

The Associated Press analyzed data from the U.S. Postal Service and Housing and Urban Development to determine that as of March 31, three percent of U.S. homes had been empty for 90 days. That’s about four million homes, down slightly from the number of vacancies a year ago.

Experts say that vacant houses lead to declining property values and falling tax revenues. As the neighborhoods begin to look increasingly shabby, there are fewer interested buyers and that leads to more vacancies. “It becomes a vicious cycle,” said Jennifer Vey, a researcher with the Brookings Institution.

The ten counties with the most vacancies are:

  1. Franklin, Ohio (Columbus)
  2. Hamilton, Ohio (midway between Cincinnati and Dayton)
  3. Berkeley, S.C. (Charleston)
  4. Wayne, N.C. (Goldsboro)
  5. El Paso, Colo. (Colorado Springs)
  6. Yuba, Calif. (near Sacramento)
  7. Cook, Ill. (Chicago)
  8. Montgomery, Ohio (Dayton)
  9. Marion, Ind. (formerly home to many automotive plants)
  10. Baltimore City, Md. (Baltimore)

Source: The Associated Press, Dan Sewell and Frank Bass (05/04/2009)


When will prices bottom out ?
2009/02/09, 8:50 pm
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Housing prices will hit bottom in the fourth quarter of 2009, predicts Moody’s in a new report.

“Despite the darkening national economic outlook and the weak conditions in the housing market, some positive signs give hope that a bottom in the housing market is coming into view,” the report says.

On average, home prices will decline 36 percent from the peak in the first quarter of 2006, the report says.

By the end of the housing downturn, nearly 62 percent of the nation’s 381 metropolitan areas will have experienced double-digit-percent declines in house prices, peak-to-trough, says the report.

The declines will exceed 20 percent in about 100 metro areas, according to the report, scheduled to be discussed in a Webcast on Thursday.

The recovery will be “lackluster,” the report continues.

“A number of uncertainties in both the housing and economic outlooks remain, and the risks tilt to the downside,” says Moody’s Chief Economist, Mark Zandi.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, James R. Hagerty (02/06/2009)

Where home prices are headed next
2009/02/09, 2:47 pm
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Where home prices are headed next
Want to know what your home will be worth this time next year? Check out these home price forecasts for the 100 largest U.S. markets, from Money Magazine.
Last Updated: May 8, 2008: 5:56 PM EDT
(Money Magazine) — The housing implosion is nowhere near over. In 75 of the 100 top U.S. cities, prices are expected to fall in the next 12 months according to Fiserv Lending Solutions.

The S&P Case/Shiller Home Price Index, which tracks 20 of the largest housing markets, showed prices plummeting by 12.7% in the 12 months ending February. That’s the biggest fall since the index began tracking prices in 2000.

Meanwhile, foreclosure filings more than doubled in the first three months of 2008, spiking 112%. So far this year 156,463 families have lost their homes to repossessions. Many markets won’t hit bottom till late 2009 or even 2010.

Pity the residents of Stockton, Calif., whose homes are likely to lose more than half of their 2006 value. But if you happen to live in Texas, congratulations: The housing tornado passed you by.