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Home Prices Continue to Rise - Market is Stabilizing

According to the most recent Current Market Conditions national grass roots survey conducted by HouseHunt.com, home prices continue to rise in most areas of the country with 93% of the communities surveyed showing year over year price appreciation up from 92% last quarter and 88% from one year ago. Our members surveyed indicated that home price appreciation is beginning to slow with 37% of the communities surveyed reporting double digit annual home price increases compared to 42% in the 1st quarter 2014 and 43% one year ago. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) housing prices are expected to rise between 5.5% and 6% in 2014; however, the latest report by NAR in June showed the national median home price increasing only 4.3% year over year. This is confirmed by many HouseHunt members who are reporting that price increases are flat in June compared to earlier months in the year. HouseHunt members in many areas of the country are indicating there is more inventory on the market. However, in most areas homes that are priced at market price and are in good condition are selling very quickly with many receiving multiple offers.

Buyer activity remains strong with HouseHunt members reporting that buyer activity is increasing in 71% of the markets compared to 72% in the 1st quarter of 2014. Seller activity has increased significantly in the 2nd quarter of 2014 with 57% of the markets reporting increased seller activity compared to 45% in the 1st quarter of 2014. Repeat buyers once again dominated the most active buyer segment with over 77% of the markets reporting repeat buyers as the primary drivers of activity compared to first time buyers, which only made up 23%. Investors and all cash buyers continue to hurt the number of first time buyers who are able to purchase a home as sellers generally will select the offers from the most qualified and largest down payments, assuming the offering prices are similar. Additionally, HouseHunt members are reporting issues with high FHA mortgage insurance premiums, home appraisals, student loans and jobs as reasons why first time buyers remain at historic lows.

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