The folks over at First American LoanPerformance released a surprising report today that found most year-over-year housing prices in September 2007 were "stable," while 17 states displayed declines in YoY housing prices. It's surprising moreso for how it was positioned than for the data itself, given LP's reputation as a straight shooter (at least, before it was acquired by First American). Here's the heat map: FALP_Sept2007 From the press statement:
"LoanPerformance's HPI continues to track the nation's housing market's progress. This latest release reveals that 17 states show a negative home price appreciation over the past 12 months," said Damien Weldon, vice president, collateral and prepayment analytics for First American LoanPerformance. "However, most states continue to have stable home values while states like Wyoming, Utah and North Carolina show a moderate growth in prices," added Weldon.
My take here is that "stability" is very much the eye of the beholder. What isn't readily available from the FALP HPI numbers is velocity -- what is being sold as "stable" growth most likely represents a massive deceleration in appreciation versus previous YoY gains in many markets. Is that stability? I guess it depends on how you see it, and whether you think the decelerating trend will continue in markets still eking out small positives (like San Franscisco, which registered YoY "gain" of under 1 percent). HW readers should by now be readily aware of where housing performance is going to trend over the next year, and I doubt that "stable" will be the word that characterizes the vast majority of any of it. For more information, http://www.loanperformance.com/products/hpi.aspx.