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Industry Data Reveals Home Prices Ended 2010 Showing No Change

Two separate industry gauges released Tuesday indicate that despite the ups and downs seen in monthly reports on home prices over the last year, residential property values ended 2010 relatively unchanged from 2009 levels.


Reports from both ""Integrated Asset Services"":http://www.iasreo.com (IAS) and ""CoreLogic"":http://www.corelogic.com point to level ground over the 12-month period, although consecutive month-to-month declines were the dominant pattern during the latter part of the year.

IAS says for the year, its benchmark for national home prices gained 0.9 percent, mostly all the result of a boost from the government's homebuyer tax credits across the first and second quarters.

However, the ""valuation company's data"":http://www.iasreo.com/ias360-house-price-index-from-ias show that three of the nation's four census regions lost ground over the last three months of 2010. Only the South, which includes some of the nation's hardest-hit areas, turned positive for the period, up 0.5 percent.

The IAS report of the nation's hardest-hit counties indicated marked improvement in Florida during Q4, where Charlotte and Pasco counties actually registered significant gains. Among the country's largest metro regions, only Miami, with a 1.22 percent gain, was positive for the quarter.

Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. all declined more than 3.0 percent for the last three months of 2010.

IAS says one hopeful sign for real estate arrived in a report from the private research group the Conference Board that showed consumer confidence in January climbed to its highest level in eight months as Americans became more


optimistic about job prospects. Moreover, the share of people who said they intended to buy a home rose to 2.2 percent, the second consecutive gain after November's 1.7 percent.

IAS stressed, however, that the burning question now is whether an improving consumer outlook will be offset by the drag from rising mortgage rates and the glut of distressed properties for sale. Many believe the enormous supply overhang of existing homes, particularly when considering all those in or soon to be in foreclosure, promises to keep pressure on prices for some time.

""Given the surge of loan defaults and foreclosures, the big picture, unfortunately enough, remains pretty familiar,"" said Ryan Tomazin, president of Integrated Asset Services. ""America simply has an excess supply of homes on the market.""

Annual ""data for 2010 from CoreLogic"":http://www.corelogic.com/About-Us/ResearchTrends/Home-Price-Index.aspx shows home prices stabilized with the firm's national home price index showing no change relative to 2009. That compares to a 12.7 percent decline between 2008 and 2009.

CoreLogic says it's reading the data as ""a sign that the largest declines are over,"" considering the company recorded double-digit drops in residential property values in both 2008 and 2009.

Mark Fleming, CoreLogic's chief economist, describes 2010 as ""a bumpy ride which ended with a net gain/loss of zero.""

CoreLogic's report also indicates that improvements during the tax credit months helped to hold annual prices flat, although declines have continued during the months that followed.

The analytics firm says national home prices in December were down 5.46 percent compared to December 2009. Based on CoreLogic's data, December marked the fifth straight month in which prices dropped from where they were a year earlier.

""Despite the continued monthly decline in home prices and year-over-year depreciation, we're encouraged that on an annual basis we're unchanged relative to a year ago,"" Fleming said.

He added, ""Excess supply continues to drive prices downward, but the silver lining is that the rate of decline is decelerating.""

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.

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