As the housing market inches further toward recovery, a curious dichotomy has risen between urban and suburban growth. According to Trulia's Price Monitor and Rent Monitor, urban areas are outpacing the suburbs in price gains, but suburbs lead the way in population growth. Homes in densely populated and urban settings are seeing home price increases heading into the Spring buying season. Asking prices typically lead sale prices by two months, which should be a good indicator of what typical sale prices will be as housing enters the summer.
Trulia found that month-to-month asking prices across the nation in urban markets rose 1.2 percent in March. Quarter-to-quarter, prices rose 2.9 percent, reflecting three straight months of solid month-over-month gains. Even more encouraging, asking prices are up a full 10 percent since last year, rising in 97 of the 100 largest metros. Trulia explains that population can grow in the suburbs while maintaining home prices due to the ease of building new housing in suburbs compared to dense urban neighborhoods.
Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase both released quarterly earnings reports Friday, noting that mortgage activity at both banks felt the sting of a shrinking market. Wells Fargo's noninterest income for the mortgage sector was $1.5 billion, a drop of about 3.8 percent quarter-over-quarter and nearly 46 percent year-over-year. JPMorgan Chase took in a net income of $114 million from their mortgage sector, a drop of $559 million from the prior year, largely driven by lower net revenue and lower benefits from the provision for credit losses.