Housing Prices Recover to 2005 Bubble Level

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Housing prices have recovered all the way to 2005 bubble levels. But is the new level a bubble as it has been in the past?

RealtyTrac, now known as ATTOM Data Solutions, reported in the month of June housing was:

1 Percent Above Previous Peak in July 2005 Following 52 Consecutive Months of Increases; But Pace of Price Appreciation Slowing in 54 Percent of 349 Counties

Its experts added:

Out of 130 metropolitan statistical areas analyzed for the report, 39 (30 percent) reached new all-time home price peaks in June, including Dallas ($240,156), Atlanta ($192,000), Seattle ($385,000), Minneapolis ($235,950), and St. Louis ($190,209).

Financing costs are among the most important reasons housing has recovered. Since current interest rates are well below bubble levels, it is encouraging that consumers can carry higher home prices for less money.

Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions, wrote:

The all-time home price highs nationwide an in many local markets are being enabled by historically low mortgage rates — which are falling once again this year. It is likely that some of the most interest rate sensitive local markets will see home price appreciation knocked down when the low rate rug is finally pulled out from under the housing recovery. We are seeing signs of weakening appreciation in many bellwether markets already in spite of the rock-bottom rates.

The housing crash was uneven across both states and cities. The same holds true for the recovery:

Metro areas with the biggest year-over-year increase in median home price in June were Salisbury, Maryland (up 22 percent), Pensacola, Florida (up 21 percent), Tampa, Florida (up 20 percent), St. Louis (up 19 percent), Boulder, Colorado (up 19 percent), and Flint, Michigan (up 18 percent).

Along with Tampa and St. Louis, major metro areas with a population of at least 1 million where median home sales prices increased at least 10 percent from a year ago in June 2016 included Orlando (up 13 percent), Phoenix (up 12 percent), Austin, Texas (up 12 percent), Portland, Oregon (up 12 percent), Denver (up 11 percent), and Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Virginia (up 10 percent).

There were 16 metro areas among the 130 analyzed (12 percent) where median home prices declined from a year ago in June, including Bridgeport, Connecticut (down 6 percent), Allentown, Pennsylvania (down 4 percent), Columbus, Ohio (down 3 percent), Houston (down 2 percent), and Milwaukee (down 1 percent).

Hopefully low interest rates will continue. Otherwise, price increases at these rates will cause huge housing market risks.

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Methodology: The ATTOM Data Solutions home sales report is based on publicly recorded sales deeds collected and licensed by ATTOM Data Solutions in more than 900 counties nationwide accounting for more than 80% of the U.S. population.