Spring buying boosts home prices in U.S. cities

While home prices have declined over the past 12 months, the second quarter of 2011 is a different story.
Spring buying pushed home prices up for a third straight month in most major U.S. cities in June.
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home-price index showed Tuesday that prices increased in June from May in 19 of the 20 cities tracked (Philadelphia was not among those 20 cities). Prices rose 3.6 percent in the April-June quarter from the previous quarter. Neither of those numbers is adjusted for seasonal factors.
While Philadelphia was not included in this study, northern cities such as Chicago and Minneapolis and eastern cities such as Washington and Boston posted the biggest monthly increases.

Morgage rates at record lows

Mortgage rates remain at record lows after steadily declining in May, primarily due to uncertainty in the global and domestic economies. While these incredible rates represent a significant savings for home buyers, experts note that for the benefits to fully be realized, lending conditions must loosen to enable more buyers to take advantage of them. As overall economic activity gets back on track, rates will likely rise to keep inflation in check. In other words, the window of opportunity for buyers to lock in these historically low interest rates may not remain open much longer.

For more information, please contact a Keller Williams Realty Group REALTOR at 610-792-5900 or log on to our website at www.KWRealtyGroup.com.

An estimated 1 million foreclosure-related notices for defaults, auctions, and home repossessions that should be filed by lenders this year will be pushed back until next year..
While the delays could give home owners more time to catch up on their payments and try to avoid foreclosure, housing experts warn this means the looming shadow inventory of distressed properties likely will continue to plague the real estate market even longer, possibly into 2015.
Overall, the number of homes repossessed by lenders in the first half of this year dropped 30 percent compared to the same period in 2010. But foreclosure processing delayswith lenders taking longer to take action against delinquent borrowersis stalling the housing recovery.
About 1.2 million homes received a foreclosure-related notice in the first six months of this yearin other words, one in every 111 U.S. households.
Nevada continues to face the most foreclosures; one in every 21 households in that state received a foreclosure notice in the first half of the year.
The foreclosure process continues to lengthen too. From April and June, homes took 318 days on average to go from the first stage of foreclosure to ultimately where it was repossessed by the lenderthat’s up from 298 days in the first three months of the year. (In New York, the foreclosure process took the longest at an average of 966 days or 2.6 years; Texas boasted the shortest at 92 days.)