Asking prices mostly hold steady06/07/2012
While the housing market has shown signs of strengthening, with many reports indicating home values are on the rise, a recent analysis indicates house hunters looking for a bargain still have time to capitalize on the buyer's market.
According to real estate listing information provider Trulia, asking prices on homes that are up for sale were virtually flat in the month of May when compared to April. When paired, asking prices rose at the national level by 1.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis quarter-over-quarter, without taking into account closing costs.
The report also analyzed the areas in which prices have stagnated or are gaining in value. In Seattle, prices rose 4.4 percent through the first three months of the year compared to the same quarter last year. Other cities in which prices moved northward included Cleveland, Las Vegas, Milwaukee and Toledo.
Jed Kolko, chief economist at Trulia, indicated that price growth was largely reflective of more people buying in these areas, not to mention improved employment numbers.
"The metros where prices rose the most have stronger demand from faster job growth and tighter supply from fewer foreclosed homes on the market," said Kolko.
Meanwhile, prices largely stayed flat in Orlando, as values dipped a marginal 0.5 percent quarter-over-quarter. Other cities logging a slight decline in home prices were Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Fort Worth, Texas and Greenville, South Carolina Trulia reports.
While prices mostly remained even nationwide, the same could not be said for rental rates. Trulia reports that in May, average rents were 6 percent higher a year ago.
Some of the biggest price hikes were observed in the West, as three of the top five cities in which rent rates rose the most included San Francisco at 14.4 percent, Oakland at 11.4 percent and Denver at 10.5 percent. Miami and Boston rounded out the top five cities with the most significant jumps in asking rents.
Kolko noted that the precipitous rise in rental rates bodes in favor of homeownership.
"Not only are rents rising, they are rising faster every month and rents are up in all of the largest markets except for Las Vegas," said Kolko. "As rent increases continue to outpace price increases, owning a home will become even more affordable relative to renting for people who are able to buy."