The U.S. housing market's recovery is gaining momentum, but there are still a number of issues for homebuyers to be cautious of.
To get to the bottom of what's really going on in the housing market, we talked to Gerri Willis, author of "Home Rich" and host of FOX Business Network's The Willis Report (6 p.m. weekdays), about the key things homebuyers need to know in today's challenging market.
us housing market trend
U.S. Housing Market Recovery Just Rescued 4 Million Homeowners
In further signs of a U.S. housing market recovery, home prices are up - meaning a whopping 33% fewer homeowners are underwater.
When the U.S. housing market bottomed out in 2008, nearly one in six homeowners owed more on mortgages than their homes were worth. That translated to 12 million underwater homeowners.
But the outlook has improved considerably.
That's because home prices, which peaked in 2007, rose 7.4% in November from a year ago, according to real estate firm CoreLogic. That's the largest year-over-year increase since 2006, when the housing industry was nearing its peak.
As home values rose, the number of "underwater" borrowers fell last year by almost 4 million, and that total could drop to 4 million within two years, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM).
That's good news not only for the housing industry, but for the entire economy.
"For most middle class households, homes are by far their biggest asset," Karen Weaver, head of market strategy and research at investment firm Seer Capital Management LP told Bloomberg News. "So once the housing market starts to recover it helps consumer spending, it helps the whole economy."Read More...
This is How to Fix the U.S. Housing Market
Real estate research firm Reis reported today (Thursday) that apartment rents are rising at the fastest rate since 2007.
Reis said vacancies hit a 10-year low as rental rates for the second quarter jumped 1%, the biggest increase since the financial crisis.
Compare this information with recent data on pending home sales, new home sales, and housing prices that has been more promising than months' past and it seems the U.S. housing market is on the mend.
That was the topic posed to Money Morning's Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald during a visit Thursday to Fox Business' "Varney & Co." program. Fitz-Gerald outlined what the recent housing data is telling us about the U.S. economy and the future of home prices and sales.
He also suggests what the U.S. government should do to encourage a stronger economic recovery and let people once again believe in the American Dream of home ownership.
Check out this Q&A session with Fitz-Gerald about the latest developments in the U.S. housing market. You can see all of Keith's analysis in the video below.
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What the Government Must do to Fix Housing
Recent data on pending home sales, new home sales, housing prices and rental rates have suggested the U.S. housing market is really on the mend - is that so?
That was the question posed to Money Morning's Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald during a visit Thursday to Fox Business' "Varney & Co." program. Fitz-Gerald outlined what the recent housing data is telling us about the U.S. economy and the future of home prices and sales.
He also suggested what the U.S. government should do to encourage a stronger economic recovery and let people once again believe in the American Dream of home ownership.
You can see all of Keith's analysis on the U.S. housing market in the accompanying video.
U.S. Housing Market Flooded by Short Sales
Home sweet home has been anything but for scores of Americans these past few years, and the picture hasn't brightened much to date.
The housing market is still hurting and the foreclosure fiasco continues to loom despite record-low mortgage rates.
Homes in some stage of foreclosure accounted for more than one in four home sales during the first quarter of 2012, RealtyTrac reported today (Thursday).
Distressed properties that were either in default, scheduled for auction or bank-owned made up 26% of all residential sales during the first quarter. That was up from 22% in the prior quarter and 25% from the same period a year earlier, according to Thursday's data.
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