Signs Point to Positive Spring Housing Season
Life + Money

Signs Point to Positive Spring Housing Season

Even as the pace of home price increases moderates in some parts of the country, asking prices are still mostly on the rise, with gains accelerating in 40 of the country’s largest markets, according to a new report from Trulia.

That’s good news for the housing market, since trends in asking prices tend to lead sales prices by a few months.

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Year-over-year, home asking prices increased 6.4 percent in October, down from the 10.6 percent year-over-year increase seen this time last year. Asking prices increased in 91 percent of the largest markets.The slowdown in home price gains varies across the country, with markets in California and the Southwest slowing the most. Price gains have slowed in 60 of the largest 100 metro areas, but prices are only falling in nine metro areas.

The slowdown in those markets mostly represents places that had been hardest hit by the housing crisis and had experienced unsustainable price rebounds last year. “Things that can’t last forever, don’t,” writes Trulia’s chief economist Jed Kolko. “Double-digit home prices are a prime example of something that can’t last forever.”

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Markets where asking prices have increased the most are concentrated in the Midwest and the South, with gains accelerating the most in Dayton, Louisville and Akron, according to Trulia.

The analysis found that nationally, rents rose 6.2 percent year-over-year in October. Rents are rising fastest in Miami, Los Angeles, and New York, where the median rent on a two-bedroom apartment equals more than half the average monthly wage.

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