Home Prices Stabilize in August as Homebuyer
Latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance Survey Reveals
WASHINGTON DC (September 20) –
Home prices showed signs of stabilizing in August, according to the
latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance Monthly Survey of Real Estate
Market Conditions. Importantly, prices for all three categories of
distressed properties – damaged REO, move-in ready REO and short sale –
ticked upward last month, while prices for non-distressed properties
Meanwhile, leading housing
activity indicators such as first-time homebuyer traffic, current
homeowner traffic, and investor traffic all declined, indicating reduced
“We’re in transition,”
commented Thomas Popik, research director for Campbell Surveys.
“Individual homeowners listing non-distressed properties and mortgage
servicers listing distressed properties are holding out for prices
established before the end of the tax credit. Meanwhile, only a few
homebuyers are willing to transact at these prices – and these are the
transactions going into the averages. That’s why we saw such declines in
traffic and volume in today’s market,” he noted.
Average prices for damaged
REO rose a healthy 6.3% from July to August, while prices for move-in
ready REO rose 2.5%. Prices for short sales, another category of
distressed property, rose 3.8%. Meanwhile, average prices for
non-distressed properties were nearly level, showing a slight 0.9%
Individual real estate
agents responding to the survey commented about hold-out sellers. “We
are seeing that sellers of non-distressed properties who have their
houses/condos priced fairly are strongly resisting low-ball offers even
to the point of not countering. Informed buyers are recognizing quality
deals and moving forward, the uninformed are looking for the deals that
are touted on Good Morning America or the Today show,” reported a real
estate agent in Florida. “Our market has been remarkably stable over the
last six months, with the exception of sales falling under the tax
credit allowance…prices continued to stay stable or even rose,” added an
agent in California.
At the same time, comments
from real estate agents indicate that buyer interest is falling. “It's
like we hit a brick wall. The market has almost come to a standstill.
First part of the year was great and we actually saw a slight increase
in home values. Now listings are reducing their prices – if we can even
get an offer, it's a low offer,” commented an agent in Indiana. “The
phone stopped ringing after April 31, 2010. No one shows up to open
houses,” complained another agent in California.
The Campbell index for
first-time homebuyer traffic fell from 32.5 in July to 29.3 in August;
this index had registered as high as 63.5 as recently as April. Current
homeowner traffic fell from 41.0 in July to 37.3 in August; this index
had registered at 55.2 as recently as April.
The Campbell/Inside Mortgage
Finance Monthly Survey of Real Estate Market Conditions surveys more
than 3,000 real estate agents nationwide each month and provides
up-to-date intelligence on home sales and mortgage usage patterns.
For more information
on the survey contact: John Campbell at Campbell Surveys, (202)