The S and P Case Shiller indexes for home prices have shown small gains. The price indexes in February showed a rise in home prices in contrast to the previous February, showing a modest spike, but the prices were still technically modestly declining. The housing market is nevertheless not fully recovered, but has signs of life. With home prices still somewhat declining, some people are looking into mortgage loan modification to get out from underwater mortgages.
First gain since 2006 reported by Case Shiller
MarketWatch reports home prices posted their first gain given that December 2006. Home prices gained 0.6 percent in February compared to February of a year ago. The bump in home prices is credited for that, as numerous improvements in real estate these days are, to the homebuyer tax credit. They're low enough to be bargains, but it is not like you'll get a home with a small loan.
There is some bad news, though
Home prices are nevertheless really declining. Despite the February home prices bump, they're nevertheless down overall. They really fell 0.9% from January to February. According to CNN Money, the Case Shiller home prices indexes for 18 of the 20 cities tracked experienced monthly declines in home prices, and six were at new lows.
Economic recovery can has no cheeseburger yet
David Blitzer, chairmen of the S and P index committee said the data might "point to a risk that home prices could decline further before experiencing any sustained gains." He also indicated that true recovery of the housing market hadn't truly begun, though it has shown some modest improvements. There were recent spikes in home sales, but home sales at depressed prices only mean people are getting lower. (Though low prices means that a lot more individuals getting will start to drive up prices.)
So what next?
The S and P Case Shiller index of home prices is at the same levels of fall in 2003. The high point was June of 2006, and since June of 2006, home prices have fallen 32.6 percent. It might be some time before a full recovery is realized.
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