South Stays Strong in New Housing Report

The Southern region of the United States posted the strongest quarter-over-quarter price returns in a new quarterly housing market report launched Wednesday by Clear Capital. The bad news: The region still posted an overall decline of 1.7%. But the (relatively) good news is the South posted the smallest overall decline of the four regions, according to Clear Capital's report. The South also posted half the decline of the national rate, 3.4%. The data and solution provider for real estate asset valuation, investment and risk assessment launched the new report as a way to track pricing conditions in real time. The July report considers data compiled through May 25. Birmingham and Cleveland had the top rolling quarter-over quarter price gains of 8.9% and 6.7%, respectively, while Phoenix and Las Vegas posted the greatest losses at -17% and -15.5%. All US regions showed a seasonal improvement in the rate of price declines during the spring selling season, with the Midwest and the South regions posting the greatest lift after a weak home price season in the winter. Certain local markets showed isolated success stories. A segment of the Cleveland market, for example, posted the first quarter-over-quarter gain since its downturn started in mid-2005. This signals "very specific investment activity" in the area, according to Clear Capital. "It's a relief to see some local stabilization this month in at least a few of the worst hit markets," said Clear Capital president Kevin Marshall in the report. "We expect to see this type of recovery on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis as savvy investors are taking a more surgical approach to due diligence and looking at micro-markets very carefully." Read the report. Write to Diana Golobay.

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