July 2012

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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W hen evaluating U.S. housing data, a notable "pop" is typically preferable to a significant "drop," but May statistics from (HVF) displayed a decrease that's anything but negative. Numbers from the website, which is a collaborative venture from Pro Teck Valuation Services and Collateral Analytics, showed declining inventory levels around the nation, representing the lowest tally for month's supply since 2006. "One of the most important developments in the past year for the residential real estate market has been the significant decline in the inventory of homes for sale. Nationally, the number of homes currently listed are down 21 percent from a year ago," said Tom O'Grady, president and CEO of Pro Teck Valuation Services. "Also, the months of housing inventory remaining nationally was at or below the five-month threshold throughout the 2002 to 2005 period when nationwide home prices were experiencing their largest gains," he added. However, the most interesting commentary on May's survey may have stemmed from HVF's look at the nation's core-based statistical areas (CBSAs). The website's recent findings stood in opposition to results from other comparable studies, with HVF predicting forward momentum in the troubled Midwest markets. "In May, contrary to other housing reports, the Rust Belt states, including Michigan and Illinois, are seeing positive trends due to significant declines in active listing counts over the past year," said Michael Sklarz, principal of Collateral Analytics and contributing author to "This has led to most of these markets having balanced Bottom-Five CBSAs or tight markets based on their months of remaining inventory values." Weighing in on the unique CBSA data, O'Grady noted, "This month's shows that for a number of widely followed markets, the declines in housing stock are even greater. It's noteworthy that Phoenix, Miami, Atlanta, Orlando, and Riverside-San Bernardino, some of the hardest-hit metros with regard to price declines since the market peak in 2006, are topping the list." In closing, Sklarz offered hope for the housing industry, revealing the catalysts that have caused him to elevate his expectations in the current marketplace. "Nearly all of the important market indicators are showing positive trends on a year-over-year basis, including declining inventory, declining market times, and less distressed sales activity to name a few," Sklarz concluded. 01 WINSTON-SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA Months of Inventory: 15.75 Median Sold Price: $120,00 Active Listings: 3,118 Hot Property: Classic property with strong curbside appeal in Winston- Salem's Sherwood area; 230 Gloucestershire Road. This four-bedroom, four- bathroom home features a large screened porch and finished basement for entertaining in 3,894 square feet. The house is listed for $435,000. 02 VIRGINIA BEACH, NORFOLK, AND NEWPORT NEWS, VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA Months of Inventory: 10.05 Median Sold Price: $200,000 Active Listings: 7,388 Hot Property: Modern estate in Virginia Beach's Sandbridge sub- division; 2425 Sandfiddler Road. Ocean views, beach access, and outdoor ameni- ties including a full kitchen, pool, and gazebo make this 3,098-square-foot a stand- out. The property is currently on the market for $829,000. 03 NEW YORK, WHITE PLAINS, AND WAYNE, NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY Months of Inventory: 20.61 Median Sold Price: $390,000 Active Listings: 18,907 Hot Property: Nantucket-style estate in the Westminster Ridge region of White Plains; 60 Chadwick Road. The colonial home boasts six bedrooms and 3.5 baths in 3,795 square feet, and the property is located near the popular Lakenridge Club. This colonial house is on the market for $799,000. Months of Inventory: 17.5 Median Sold Price: $215,000 Active Listings: 2,100 Hot Property: Beautifully restored Victorian home in Norwich; 161 McKinley Ave. Built around 1900, the historic 2,694-square-foot house has four bedrooms and two bathrooms, as well as several luxurious formal living spaces. The estate is currently listed for $279,900. 04 NORWICH AND NEW LONDON, CONNECTICUT 05 HARTFORD, WEST HARTFORD, AND EAST HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT Months of Inventory: 15.48 Median Sold Price: $206,200 Active Listings: 6,965 Hot Property: Charming cottage-style home in the heart of Hartford; 109 Girard Ave. Featuring cathedral ceilings, oversized kitchen, and large outdoor spaces, the house has four bedrooms and two bathrooms in 2,710 square feet. The property is on the market for $315,000. THE M REPORT | 13

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