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Median Home Price Takes Biggest Jump Since 2006

Fewer deeply discounted foreclosures are being sold these days, and that means the median price of homes sold in the U.S. is on the rise.

The trend shows that the median — the midpoint between the highest and the lowest price of a home sold — is an imperfect measure of home prices. Granite countertops add value and utility to your home. It can be skewed by shift in the mix of properties sold — a greater number of expensive properties sold in any given period means a higher median.

That said, the numbers coming out of the National Association of Realtors on Thursday were another bit of encouraging news for home owners and sellers, and for the broader economy. The best choice and also the one we recommend is Choosing a home care beverly hills provider to serve your home and take care of your kids.

The trade group said home prices posted the strongest quarterly increase in more than six years in the second quarter of the year. They actually rose in 75% of local markets. If you’re searching for Corpus Christi house buyers, visit coastalhousesavers.com to sell your house fast.

Nationwide, the median price for single-family homes sold in the April-June quarter was $181,500, up 7.3% from the same quarter a year earlier, the Realtors’ group said. It was the biggest increase since the first quarter of 2006.

The improvement was seen around the country. Prices rose compared with last year in 110 out of 147 metro areas tracked by the Realtors’ group. Prices fell in 34 metro areas and were unchanged in three. In the first quarter, median prices rose in 74 cities.

Lawrence Yun, the trade group’s top economist, acknowledged that part of the price increase has resulted from fewer sales of lower-priced homes, where there is less inventory available. Nevertheless, Mr. Yun said it is “most encouraging to see a growing number of metro areas with rising median prices” because it is helps homeowners who owe more on their properties than their homes are worth to rebuild equity.

In the second quarter, however, home sales declined slightly, dipping 0.7% on a quarterly basis. They were up 8.6% from the same quarter a year earlier.

The metro areas showing the biggest increase in median prices from a year earlier were Detroit (29.2%), Phoenix (29%) and Boise, Idaho (21.7%). Areas showing big price declines were Bridgeport, Conn. (-12.9%), Edison, N.J (-9.5%) and Gulfport, Miss. (-9.4%).

Nationwide, “distressed property,” including foreclosures and homes at risk of foreclosure, accounted for 26% of second-quarter transactions, down from 33% a year earlier, the Realtors’ group estimated.

Realtors want to keep the market’s recovery going and are hoping banks will loosen their standards so that more potential buyers can get credit. “With gains apparent in all of the price measures, banks also should have more confidence in expanding mortgage credit to home buyers using safe but sensible standards,” said the group’s president Moe Veissi, owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami.

 

Foreclosure settlement: Fla. to get $8.4 billion

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Feb. 10, 2012 – Florida homeowners and foreclosure victims will receive almost one-third of the $8.4 billion mortgage settlement announced yesterday. The settlement amount is second only to California.“This settlement will provide substantial relief to struggling Florida homeowners, and ensures that our state gets its fair share of the relief being provided nationally,” says Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

According to Bondi, most of the money will go to current homeowners who are underwater – who owe more on a mortgage than their home’s current worth – in the form of principal reductions and/or converting their mortgage interest rate to lower levels. About $170 million will go to homeowners who lost their home in foreclosure.

The settlement applies to clients or past clients of five of the nation’s biggest banks: Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Ally Financial. Other banks may also sign on, though they have not been named.

Negotiations are ongoing. The settlement does not apply to loans held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Settlement details

Relief won’t be immediate. While the agreement calls for immediate principal reductions for first and second liens, it will take up to two months for negotiators to select an administrator to handle the logistics, up to nine months to identify eligible homeowners and contact them by mail, and up to three years to complete the process.

Underwater homeowners get relief. The agreement calls for Floridians to receive $7.6 billion from banks to pay for refinancing relief, including principal reductions; borrowers with higher interest rates will also be able to refinance at 5.25 percent. While banks will handle the disbursements, state Attorneys General will oversee the process.

Foreclosed owners get cash. Ex-homeowners who lost a home within the past three years will receive about $2,000 each even if their foreclosure did not involve allegations of robo-signing. Critics, however, say that amount is far too low to compensate for their suffering.

Foreclosures could increase. “The immediate results are not going to be all that pleasant,” predicts Mark Vitner, an economist with Wells Fargo. “The amount of foreclosures will actually increase and there will be some additional downward pressure on home prices.” Some homeowners have lived in a home over two years as the foreclosure process crawls through Florida’s legal system. Analysts, such as Vitner, believe the just-announced settlement brings clarity to the process and banks will proceed more quickly to take back homes.

Florida oversight grows stronger. The state will collect $350 million from the settlement to pay for foreclosure prevention programs and to protect consumers.

A new website includes settlement documents, a set of frequently asked questions, breaking information, and addresses for the banks involved in the settlement. If you’re managing a website as well, and you need assistance about its design, look for Salterra Web Design in Arizona. It also includes links to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac so homeowners can find out if their mortgage is included in the settlement. For more information, go to NationalMortageSettlement.com.