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Home Price Appreciation Has Peaked -Poll
Posted to: MND NewsWire
Friday, May 30, 2014 12:18 PM

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In a poll of 31 property analysts Reuters news agency found consensus that the growth of house prices in the U.S. has peaked and that further increases over the next two years will be more restrained.  The analysts' predictions centered on a median 7.5 percent increase this year and a gain of only 4.0 percent by 2016.

Reuters says this is a significant slowdown from the 12.4 percent jump in home values over the 12 months ended in March that was recently reported by the S&P/Case Shiller 20-City Composite Index.   The rate of increase has recently slowed from that which occurred in the earlier months of that timeline.   

(Read More: Three Data Sets Concur on Continuing but Slower Price Increases)

The analysts agreed that further price increases will likely be curbed by tight lending standards, slow wage growth, and a lack of first-time buyers, a group that might be further restrained by those factors.  

Results of the poll also included a consensus that home resales would reach a 4.75 million annual rate in the second quarter of 2014 and would continue that upward trajectory, reaching 5.10 million sales by the first quarter of next year.  Resales were at an annual rate of 4.65 in April.

Among the questions the poll put to respondents was whether the U.S. housing market was fairly valued.  On a scale of one to 10, ranging from extremely undervalued (one) to extremely overvalued responses were termed by Reuters as fairly conservative, ranging between 3 and 7.5.

Reuters said the housing market lost some of its momentum in late 2013 and early 2014 as mortgage rates rose and unusually cold weather caused the economy to contract by an annual rate of 1 percent in the first quarter and residential investment to drop by an annual rate of 5 percent.

Reuters said that more first-time homebuyers would mean more robust growth but that much would also depend on interest rates.  Currently the average 30-year fixed rate is a little over 4 percent and is expected to rise to 4.5 percent this year and to 5.68 percent in 2016.

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