Magazine article Mortgage Banking

A Warming Trend?

Magazine article Mortgage Banking

A Warming Trend?

Article excerpt

Is the residential real estate market finally coming out of its deep freeze? Well, the answer is "sort of." And more to the point: "It depends on where you live." So how about we just put to rest, once and for all, the whole notion of "the housing market." There just is no such thing as one, single, monolithic housing market in these United States. Sorry, but it just doesn't exist.

When it comes to statistics on housing, you need to go local. That's what our cover story this month does. CoreLogic's Mark Fleming (chief economist) and Sam Khater (senior economist) went on record with their picks for the most-and least-improved housing markets in the country. Phoenix convincingly won top honors for most improved. Chicago took the title for least improved, according to Fleming and Khater.

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In their article titled, "Phoenix Emerges as Most Improved," they convincingly portray the extraordinary turn-around taking place in this once hard-hit Arizona market. Consider this: "In February 2012, the REO [real estate owned] share dropped to 17 percent, down from 4o percent a year earlier." The drop in REOs relieves the downward pressure on overall home prices in the area. The authors write, "In February, Phoenix's home prices rose 5 percent from a year earlier--the fastest rate since October 2006."

As for Chicago, things are moving in the other direction. A key factor is that the city is located in a judicial foreclosure state. The authors note, "A big reason for the lack of housing recovery in Chicago is the impact of foreclosure laws. …

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