First American LoanPerformance released its Home Price Index numbers for October 2007 today, which found broad-based evidence of single-family residential real estate price declines in 21 states. “The real estate market continues to exhibit ongoing declines in a number of key residential property markets. This latest LoanPerformance HPI release reveals that 21 states now show a negative home price appreciation over the past 12 months,â€? said Damien Weldon, vice president, collateral and prepayment analytics for First American LoanPerformance. “The overall picture continues to be mixed however. Some states such as New York and Vermont for example actually show an increase in year-over-year home price appreciation compared to last month’s LoanPerformance HPI release,â€? added Weldon. October 2007 LP HPI Click the above heat map to see LP HPI results state-by-state. An analysis of the nation’s top 30 MSAs found that 21 MSAs exhibited price declines as well, with Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA leading the way, LoanPerformance said. But getting more granular with the data showed that pricing patterns varied significantly at the local level. “LoanPerformance’s HPI pinpoints underlying real estate trends at ZIP code-level in all major markets,” Weldon said. “2,975 (40 percent) of the 7,451 ZIP codes we track show a stable or increasing year-over-year home price appreciation.” The pattern Weldon’s referring to is likely the same one identified by the OFHEO in its recently-released conforming housing price index — in its third quarter report, the OFHEO found that the correlation between housing prices and foreclosure activity broke down once the data reached down to the ZIP level. The reason for the local-level breakdown in the OFHEO study: housing prices are inherently sticky. And that’s apparentely being borne out in the LP data here as well. With sales volume plummeting in most markets right now, there is little observable data that can be used within a given ZIP to observe pricing activity. Only when the data is sufficiently aggregated — say, to the MSA level — are enough transactions observed such that pricing trends become meaningful. For more information, visit http://www.loanperformance.com.

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