Is the housing market poised for a double dip in house values? Corelogic reports that as of November, home values were down 5 percent from the same time the year before.
CoreLogic Chief Economist Mark Fleming says, We're continuing to see the influence of seasonal declines that typically depress home prices during the latter part of the year, but the fact that the rate of decline increased for November is indicative of the uphill battle we're facing with the housing recovery.
Steep declines were seen in multiple locales across the nation. Idaho saw home values fall 13.5 percent.
Zillow.com reports that the decline in home values from the national peak in June 2006 officially surpassed the magnitude of declines experienced during the Great Depression, falling 26 percent from peak levels.
Also troublesome is the monthly pace at which homes values are now declining. In November the rate rose to 0.78 percent.
According to Zillow, We're still seeing significant weakness in the lowest home value tier, particularly with the expiration of the Federal home buyer tax credits. ... Weakness in the bottom tier of homes naturally translate into the higher tiers as these homeowners become exposed to negative equity (and thus are removed from the demand equation altogether) or have less money to spend buying their next home.
Economists say that for at least the next 2 quarters we'll see larger factors -- such as unemployment -- producing more home value declines.
The New York Times reported last week that we could see new job growth thanks in part to the Federal Reserve's plan to buy up $600 billion worth of Treasury securities.
Janet L. Yellen, Fed vice chairwoman, noted, It will not be a panacea, but I believe it will be effective in fostering maximum employment and price stability.
There are those, however, that criticize the Fed's move, saying it could instead create future financial imbalances.
Time will tell, but for now, most are hoping for the best.
The Mortgage Banker Association, the national association representing the real estate finance industry, is reporting in their latest findings that mortgage applications rose. The Refinance Index rose 4.9 in just one week. This is welcome news, as the unadjusted Purchase Index increased 41.9 percent compared with the previous week, but was still 10.5 percent lower than the same week one year ago.