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Is the Housing Recovery Still On Track?

Daily Ticker
Is the Housing Recovery Still On Track?

New housing data released Tuesday could give prospective homebuyers the motivation to make a bid on that home or condo they’ve been eyeing. Home prices in the 20 cities tracked by the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index rose 12.1% in June versus the same month in 2012. In May prices jumped 12.2%, the biggest increase since March 2006.

Prices in Denver and Dallas reached new all-time highs in June but property values for all of the 20 cities included in the index posted monthly and annual gains.

Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at Sterne Agee, tells The Daily Ticker that Tuesday’s report supports the strong fundamentals she’s seeing in the housing market.

Homebuyers in particular are feeling a “sense of immediacy” to purchase homes before prices and mortgage rates rise even more, she notes. Mortgage rates are still hovering near record lows but have been steadily climbing higher. Last week the average rate on a 30-year mortgage touched a two-year high of 4.58%, up from 3.35% in early May according to Freddie Mac.

[Click here to get mortgage rates in your neighborhood.]

Piegza says the housing market’s momentum will continue despite rising prices and a decline in new home sales.

“Demand is beginning to slow but the housing market is still very much inching its way into improvement,” she argues.

The Commerce Department announced this week that new home sales in July fell 13.4% -- the lowest level in nine months.

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