US House Prices, Indeces

Demand Institute, a nonprofit think tank operated by The Conference Board and Nielsen released a report, “A Tale of 2000 Cities”, Wednesday which found that, of the 50 largest US metropolitan areas where housing prices are expected to appreciate between 2012 and 2018, the top five will see rises on average of 32 per cent, while the bottom five will average gains of only 11 per cent.
The report is based on an 18-month research program that included an analysis of 2,200 cities and towns in the United States and interviews with 10,000 consumers.
The study predicted that the national median price for an existing single-family home will rise at a much slower rate in the coming years than in 2013, when prices advanced 11.5 per cent. The study sees prices growing at an annual rate of 2.1 per cent between 2015 and 2018, as supply and demand begin to even out.
The double-digit price increases of the past two years are not indicative of future trends since they were largely driven by investors snapping up distressed homes to meet surging rental demand, the study said.
Home Prices, US
Elsewhere, Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index rose 13.4 per cent in December from a year ago, according to new data released Tuesday.
Although down from a peak of 13.7 per cent in November, this is the fastest calendar year gain since 2005 as a result of relatively low mortgage rates and low inventories in the first few months of 2013.
House prices dropped about 35 per cent from their peak after the housing bust and have now risen around 20 per cent since hitting their trough in early 2012.
Meanwhile, Freddie Mac on Thursday posted a record annual profit of US$48.7 billion for 2013, but it warned its recent string of eye-popping earnings was unsustainable.
The company reported net income of US$8.6 billion in the three months ended December 31, paving the way for a US$10.4 billion dividend payment to the US Treasury.
For it’s part, last week, Fannie Mae reported record annual earnings and said it would ship US$7.2 billion to the Treasury, putting taxpayers ahead on its bailout for the first
After both make their latest dividend payments, taxpayers will have received US$202.9 billion for their support, US$15.4 billion more than the US$187.5 billion provided in bailout funds.