Home Price Index (HPI): Home Values Rising Nationwide

Home Price Index (HPI): Home Values Rising Nationwide | Mortgage Rates And News From The Mortgage Reports Blog.


Home Price Index (HPI): Home Values Rising Nationwide

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Home Price Index off less than 20% from April 2007 housing peakAre home prices rising or falling? It’s a tough question — especially because the answer depends on where you get your facts. It also matters  how old those facts just happen to be.

Click here to get today’s mortgage rates.

HPI Rises 0.3% In February

Each month, the government’s Federal Home Finance Agency — the overseer of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — publishes the Home Price Index.

The Home Price Index measures the change in appraised value of the same home between successive FHFA-backed transactions (i.e. home purchase, home refinance), then uses those changes to track home valuations nationwide.

According to the Home Price Index, home values rose a seasonally-adjusted 0.3 percent between January and February 2012, and up 0.4% since last February. The data runs counter to Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Index which shows home values in decline.

The February Case-Shiller Index has values down more than 3 percent since last year.

In contrast to the HPI, Case-Shiller uses purchase contracts only; tracks single-family homesales only; and accounts for home sales in just a handful of cities nationwide.

Click here to get today’s mortgage rates.

Colorado, Arizona Among Top States

Like everything in real estate, home values are a local phenomenon. In February, not every U.S. region show rising values.

According the Home Price Index, some areas experienced relatively large gains — the Mountain Region gained 1.9% in February — and others experiences relatively large losses. The West North Central Region shed 1.0 percent.

Other regional highlights include :

  • New England Region (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut) : + 0.8%
  • Pacific Region (Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California) : -0.9%
  • South Atlantic Region (Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida) : 0.9%

Even regional notes, however, aren’t telling enough. On a city-by-city basis, and on a street-by-street level, housing markets can vary.

Click here to get today’s mortgage rates.

The Flaw In The Home Price Index

As a home buyer or seller, published data showing “rising home values” or “falling home values” may be interesting, but it’s not necessarily relevant. Most home valuation trackers — including the government’s Home Price Index and the private sector Case-Shiller Index — come standard with a severe, built-in flaw.

Both used “aged” data.

Today, the calendar reads May. Yet, we’re still discussing February’s housing data. Data from February has little value buyers and sellers in May’s housing market. And, even then, characterizing the data as “from February” is somewhat of a stretch. This is because the home values used in both the Home Price index and the Case-Shiller Index are collected from actual mortgage transactions, which are recorded at closing — not at the time of sale.

Click here to get today’s mortgage rates.

This affects valuation trackers because on a purchase, the sale price is often agreed upon 45-60 days prior to closing. Yet, those values don’t reach the Home Price Index or the Case-Shiller Index until two month later. For refinances, the lag between appraisal and closing is typically 30 days.

Therefore, when we look at the Home Price Index and Case-Shiller Index reports, what we’rereally seeing is a snapshot of housing as it was 5 months ago. Data like that is of little relevance to today’s buyers and sellers. Today’s real estate market is driven by today’s supply-and-demand — not February’s.

The Home Price Index and Case-Shiller Index are useful gauges for economists and law-makers looking at long-term trends. For buyers and sellers, though, they’re less relevant. Real-time data is what matters most.

Click here to get today’s mortgage rates.


Whether you’re buying a home or refinancing one, home valuations matters. But, so do mortgage rates. Rising mortgage rates will do more to change your home affordability than rising home prices ever could. A 1% rise in mortgage rates takes 11 percent off your purchasing power.

Take a look at today’s low mortgage rates. Plan your budget accordingly.

Click here to get today’s mortgage rates.

Courtesy of Dan Green



Press Release: Cincinnati Area Real Estate February Sales update

Press Release

Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors®

The following press release was sent to the local media today at 10:20 a.m.

March 21, 2012


Contact:          Tom Hasselbeck, CABR President, 513-829-0044 , 513-607-3868 [cell]

Gene Snavley, CABR Exec.Vice President, 513-543-2211 [cell]


Home Sales Up 18.6% in February;

Year-to-Date Sales Up 15%

Local home sales in February – for the 8th consecutive month – improved over a year ago. Sales in February totaled 1,155 units, an 18.58% gain over the same month a year ago when 974 homes were sold.

“Mortgage rates remain at historical lows, the housing inventory is increasing and the mild winter were all contributing factors that helped prospective buyers to stop looking and buy,” said Tom Hasselbeck, president of the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors. An improving job market has boosted optimism.  Favorable stock market activity also has been a plus for consumer confidence, he added.

Local mortgage rates in February averaged 3.91%.  That’s down from 5.04% a year ago.  This week, they’re at 4.05%.

Average home sale price last month was $130,087, down -9.01% from a year earlier. “This is a result of buyers continuing to take advantage of lower-priced, lender-owned and short sale property,” said Hasselbeck.  “We are, however, beginning to see increasing numbers of sellers put their homes on the market where a lender is not involved, which is a positive thing.”

Nationwide, February home sales were down 0.9% from January on a seasonally adjusted basis, but up 8.8% from February 2011.

January and February generally are the weakest sales months of the year. This year, however, the first two months have been very strong.  This is a great start to what looks to be a very positive 2012 for home sales with an improving economy.

The NAR Housing Affordability Index recently reached an all-time high of 206.1, in January.  An index of 100 means that a family with a median family income is able to afford a median priced home with a 20% down payment. The higher the index number, the greater the household can afford.  “Our current local market affordability is over 300,” said Hasselbeck. “This means that when you combine the low interest rates, higher consumer confidence and great housing values, now — more than ever — is a great time to buy,” said Hasselbeck.




— more on page 2 –


Page 2 of 2

February Home Sales

Summary of Single Family and Condominium Sales

Multiple Listing Service of Greater Cincinnati

Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors®


February Home Sales

                                                            Closings          Gross Volume         Average Price          

Feb. 2012                     1,155              $150,250,634              $130,087

Feb. 2011                        974              $139,254,156              $142,971

Variance        +18.58%                        +7.90%                 -9.01%



Year-to-Date Home Sales


                                                            Closings          Gross Volume          Average Price         

Jan-Feb. 2012                2,151             $287,684,291             $133,744

Jan-Feb. 2011                1,871             $266,514,278              $142,445

Variance         +14.97%                      +7.94%                 – 6.11%



Nationwide, February home sales were down 0.9% from January on a seasonally

adjusted basis, but up 8.8% from February 2011.

Mortgage and Housing sales data update

Existing Home Sales Rose 5% in December:

Home sales rose in December to the highest pace in nearly a year. The gain coincides with other signs that show the troubled housing market improved at the end of last year.

The National Association of Realtors said Friday that sales increased 5 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.61 million, the best level since January 2011 and the third straight monthly increase.

Sales are increasing at a time when the market is flashing other positive signs. Mortgage rates are at record-low levels. Homebuilders have grown slightly less pessimistic because more people are saying they might be open to buying a home this year. And home construction picked up in the final quarter of last year.

The median sales price rose 2.3 percent to $164,500 in December.

What Happened to Rates Last Week?

Mortgage backed securities (MBS) lost -91 basis points from last Friday to the prior Friday which moved mortgage rates upward.
The biggest economic surprise was the large decrease in the weekly Initial Jobless Claims data which is certainly positive for the economy, but negative for bonds.
But the real catalyst was a change in market sentiment that Greece’s bond holders were close to accepting the new terms of a “voluntary” hair cut of 60% to 70% on what they are owed. This removed some of the “fear factor” premium in bonds that have kept mortgage rates artificically low for the past 8 weeks.

What to Watch Out For This Week:

The following are the major economic reports that will hit the market this week. They each have the ability to affect the pricing of Mortgage Backed Securities and therefore, interest rates for Government and Conventional mortgages. I will be watching these reports closely for you and let you know if there are any big surprises:

Courtesy of

Stephanie Halpin

Fairway Mortgage

June 2011 Cincinnati Home sales report

Home Sales Reach 1,781 in June;

Median Sale Price Inches Up 1.5%


Thanks to continued low mortgage interest rates and overall housing affordability, there were 1,781 home buyers last month in the local area.


That’s down 17% from a year ago, but at that time there was a $6,500 to $8,000 federal income tax credit for qualified home buyers.  That boosted sales in June 2010.


Pete Kopf, president of the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors, said “Considering there is no home tax credit this year and a 9% unemployment rate, we think that having 1,781 home buyers last month is a testament to the belief that home ownership is a good thing in the public’s minds.”


The average home sale price last month was $166,303, only a 3% dip from a year ago.  The median sale price actually rose by 1.5%, to $132,000.  The median price is the mid-point in the overall price range of sales.


Mortgage rates have held below 5% this year.  They averaged 4.59% in June, compared to 4.78% a year earlier.  Lower rates and attractively-priced inventory help home affordability, due to lower monthly mortgage payments.


Another advantage for home owners, as usual, is the deductibility of mortgage interest and property taxes from their taxable income.  That means they pay less in federal income taxes.  Renters don’t get that advantage.  A homeowner also realizes – eventually – that their house will be fully paid for, which is great for retirement planning.  Renters never have a residence that is paid for, which could be a detriment to retirement years.


“Smart buying is going on today — 1,781 home buyers proved that just last month,” said Kopf.  “With home affordability at a record high (dating back to 1970), the smart trend of home buying will continue.”


— more on page 2 —




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June Home Sales





Summary of Single Family and Condominium Sales

Multiple Listing Service of Greater Cincinnati

Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors®


June Home Sales

                                                            Closings          Gross Volume         Average Price          

June 2011                     1,781              $296,185,643              $166,303

June 2010                     2,156              $369,717,348              $171,483

Variance          -17.39%                     -19.89%                  -3.02%



Year-to-Date Home Sales


                                                            Closings          Gross Volume          Average Price         

Jan-June 2011                8,222          $1,218,105,744             $148,152

Jan-June 2010                9,559          $1,503,391,725             $157,275

Variance          -13.99%                     -18.98%                  -5.80%



Nationwide, June home sales were down 0.8% from May on a seasonally

adjusted basis, and down 8.8% from June 2010.  Sales surged in May and

June of 2010 in response to the home buyer tax credit.

February Sales, Local Cincinnati MLS- Feb 2011

Click to enlarge doc

Jan 2011 Home Sales Report Cincinnati MLS just released


December 2010 CABR MLS Home Sales Report

Creating leverage in the current Real Estate market (Jan 2011)

If you havent noticed through our media outlets, Cooper Consulting Group and The Home Finder Network have been slammed with Real Estate business recently. Clients by the dozens, of all kinds in all areas have been phoning and emailing us with requests for help. To paint a picture of why, is what we are here to examine and explain.

Historically the December market place is slow for many, for us it was a very busy time. We experienced 3 closings, 4 contract terms on our listings delivered, negotiated and slotted to close in the early 1st quarter of 2011. Over a half-dozen new buyers have jumped the over the fence, entered the shopping market and are prepared to deliver purchase terms within the month. All of this at once can be pointed to several market conditions.

Leverage for Sellers:

The position for sellers right now is the lack of inventory in our market place, especially through the months of December and January. Most sellers remove their properties from he market place during the Holiday season, leaving only distressed bank owned properties and highly motivated sellers. For those sellers that kept their homes active the low inventory helped a tremendous amount, lowing the buyers choices of homes. Turning our focus to the buyers side during this time-table, historically most buyers are not active during the Holiday or winter months either, however this season, the interest rates have creeped up, according to Ohiorealtors.org  the rate have raised over 5% nearly a full point since November 2010. Buyers are listening to their financial and Real Estate professionals, now is finally the time for the best interest rate.

On Dec 31st, our local MLS experienced 1,136 expired listing, all in one day! Many of which were bank owned or distressed property inventory but not all. Sellers have called me wanting to plan for the spring time to list, ask yourself how many other home owners are waiting until spring? By March 2011, our inventory will grow, by April it will be close to a an annual high for 2011. What are you really waiting for? more buyers to be shopping, or more homes to be on the market? fortunately for sellers, it doesn’t take more buyers to draft terms on your house, it take 1 good ready willing and able buyer. Start planning now, invite us or your real estate professional to visit your home NOW! and do not wait until spring! List now, price it right, and hire the best marketing and negotiating expert you can hire! Highest price and shortest time starts now, your timing counts on it!

Existing Home Sales Data (National Report)

May Sales report Cincinnati MLS

Closings in May ’10 vs ’09 up 25%

Gross Volume up 28%

Avg Price up nearly 3%

See the complete data sheet here:


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