In the U.S. property market, good news has become a relative term. And in this case- the fact that housing prices declined less than had been anticipated in the month of February is viewed in a positive light.
According to the FNC's Residential Price Index home prices in February declined 0.7% from January, or 5.3% year over year.Analysts had predicted that price deterioration would be much more signifcant.
In fact the price decline seen in February was the slowest since last November. The report does indicate that “the trend shows that weak housing demand and spillovers from rising distressed sales continue to affect the mortgage market.”
The Index shows too that prices, as of February, are 1.9% below what they were at the end of 2010- and, cyclically, they are comparable to May 2003.
Typically, February prices show large movement in price due to seasonality. According to the findings of this report,” The better-than-expected February price seasonality could likely send early signals that the housing market is ready for a gradual rebound as a seasonal uptrend in spring home buying typically occurs. The latest published data on existing home sales shows that sales of existing homes are increasing modestly. The latest data on foreclosure price discounts also reveal improving trends in price discounts on distressed homes sales. “
So then, there are small, hopeful steps being taken modestly in the U.S. property market in various areas.
While the markets showed promising results in many regions across the country, there were those that did not- including some that showed continued double digits losses: Phoenix (15.7%), Atlanta (14.1%), Orlando (13.5%), Sacramento (11.3%), Portland (11.2%), Las Vegas (11%), Charlotte (11%), and Chicago (10.3%). There were single-digit declines in Tampa (9.8%), St. Louis (9.4%), Minneapolis (8.1%), San Antonio (7.7%), and Miami (7.1%).
St. Louis and San Antonio both posted losses after having had several good months of market activity.
Only two cities show positive price movement year-over-year since January 2011- Detroit and Los Angeles at 2.9% and 1.2% respectively.