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National Mortgage Professional
Jun 10, 2008

House Price Index provides view of housing price trends based on neighborhood level dataMortgagePress.comIntegrated Asset Services LLC, house price index, home sales, demographics, IAS360 House Price Index Integrated Asset Services LLC (IAS), a default management and residential collateral valuation, has launched its monthly-reported IAS360 House Price Index. The new Index represents a representation of U.S. housing market trends at a county level. In its first release, IAS360 House Price Index April data shows that while many areas of the country are still feeling the pinch of the credit crunch there are measurable improvements in some of the nation's hardest-hit areas. The new IAS360 House Price Index is a comprehensive housing index tracking monthly change in the median sales price of detached single-family residences in more than 15,000 "neighborhoods" across the U.S. This data is then rolled up to report on the changes in 360 counties, nine census divisions, four regions, and the nation overall. The timeliness of the data, which is based on all arms-length transactions occurring in underlying neighborhoods, makes the IAS360 the leading indicator for housing price trends in the U.S. "Given the granularity, the methodology, and the timely monthly reporting of the IAS360, we are able to provide the market with early warning signs on housing price trends," said David McCarthy, president and CEO of IAS. "When the housing markets are rosy, a 50,000 foot view may be acceptable. But when we are facing tumultuous markets, we need to go deeper to understand what is truly going on to make smart decisions." The IAS360 April data demonstrates the significance of this granular approach to housing price analysis. Data through the end of the month shows improvement in some of the most depressed areas of the country, even while others that have been somewhat sheltered from the credit crisis are just beginning to feel its impact. On a national level, the housing picture is still challenging, with April year-over-year sales declining -9.72 percent overall; sales declined -1.82 percent on top of a .04 percent drop the previous month. But at the same time, the picture at the regional level is far more encouraging--the Northeast and the Southern regions moved to the black in April while the Midwest region rebounded nicely with a 5.90 percent gain in median sales price. The Western region, meanwhile, was the hardest hit, witnessing a 5% drop in home sales in April coming off of a 5% increase the previous month. "The key is that the generalized view of the market being reported in the news today doesnt paint the full picture for consumers and investors," continued McCarthy. "The residential real estate market is a local phenomenon and it is important to analyze it as such. Looking at the more granular data provided by the IAS360 actually demonstrates pockets of opportunity." According to recently released data from S&P/Case-Shiller, Las Vegas continues to share the distinction of being one of the weakest markets over the past 12 months through February on a macro level. However, the IAS360 shows two months of consecutive improvement in housing prices in Las Vegas' Clark County, one of the largest counties in Nevada. Additionally, Arapahoe County in Colorado posted a 1.38 percent increase for the month of April, despite a year-over-year decline of -9.30 percent. During the same time period Riverside County, California and Maricopa County, Arizona have begun to show signs of leveling off after experiencing double-digit declines in year-over-year housing prices. "The market is truly segmented at every level, the region, the county, and down to an individual neighborhood. An index that can truly show pricing at the neighborhood level for most of the nation is a very promising and timely development," said Steve Murray, editor at Real Trends. "The IAS360 index is a significant step forward for those following the housing market." Moving forward, the new IAS360 House Price Index will be reported on a monthly basis. The next analysis covering housing trends from May data will be released during the first week of July. For more information, visit www.iasreo.com.
Published
Jun 10, 2008
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