2012 proves to be a year of growth for the US property market

Sales and prices seen to be on an upward trend

The good news for the American residential real estate market is continuing with two leading indices showing that sales and prices are still on an upward trend.

National home values continued their year long climb in October, rising 1.1% from September to $155,400, according to the latest Zillow Home Value Index.

The monthly increase was the largest since August 2005, when home values rose 1.2% month on month, and is the 12th consecutive monthly increase. Annually, home values were up 4.7% from October 2011, the largest gain since September 2006.

And the latest data from the National Association of Realtors shows that the national median existing home price for all housing types was $178,600 in October, which is 11.1% above a year ago. This marks eight consecutive monthly year on year increases, which last occurred from October 2005 to May 2006.

Of the nation’s 30 largest metro areas covered by Zillow, only Chicago experienced monthly home value seclines. Some 26 of the country’s largest metros experienced year on year value increases. Major markets where home values increased the most over the past year include Phoenix up 22.3%, San Jose up 11.4%, Denver up 10.4%, San Francisco up 9.5% and Miami Fort Lauderdale up 8.8%.

National rents were largely flat month on month, falling 0.1% to a Zillow Rent Index of $1,279. Year on year, rents nationwide were up 5.4% and rose on an annual basis in all but three of the largest metros surveyed.

‘We’ve reached a milestone with one full year of monthly home value gains. Those dubious about the durability of the housing recovery will point to the large role that investors are playing in the recovery, or to the large number of foreclosures yet to hit the market, as factors to be wary of. But the bottom line is that homes are more affordable now than at any time in recent memory, and buyers are seizing this opportunity,’ said Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries.

‘We expect to see increasing numbers of potential buyers entering the market as the broader economy continues to recover and household formation picks up further. We’re hopeful that negotiations over the ‘fiscal cliff’ don’t derail this momentum,’ he added.

The NAR index shows that single family home sales rose 1.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.22 million in October from 4.14 million in September, and are 9.6% above the 3.85 million unit pace in October 2011. The median existing single family home price was $178,700 in October, which is 10.9% higher than a year ago.

Existing condominium and co-op sales rose 3.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 570,000 in October from 550,000 in September, and are 21.3% above the 470,000 unit level a year ago. The median existing condo price was $177,500 in October, up 11.7% from October 2011.

Regionally, existing home sales in the North east fell 1.7% to an annual pace of 580,000 in October but are 13.7% above October 2011. The median price in the North east was $232,600, which is 4.6% above a year ago.

Existing home sales in the Mid west rose 1.8% in October to a level of 1.11 million and are 18.1% above a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $145,600, up 10.6% from October 2011.

In the South, existing home sales increased 2.1% to an annual pace of 1.92 million in October and are 11% higher than October 2011. The median price in the South was $152,200, which is 8.2% above a year ago.

Existing home sales in the West rose 4.4% to an annual level of 1.18 million in October and are 3.5% above a year ago. With much tighter inventory conditions, the median price in the West was $242,100, up 21.2% from October 2011.

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