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Summertime the Right Time for National Price Gains

by Houston Agent

Price gains in Chicago were the second best in the nation from quarter-to-quarter in Clear Capital's new index.

National price gains were up 4 percent in Clear Capital’s latest Home Data Index, a monthly report that analyzes housing data in the West, Midwest, Northeast and the South.

All four sectors of the market showed quarter-over-quarter price gains, with the South showing gains of 3.5 percent (down slightly from last month’s report of 4.2 percent).

Clear Capital is a research firm that provides  appraisals,property condition inspections and home data indices, among other services.

Dr. Alex Villacorta, Clear Capital’s director of research and analytics, was skeptical of the positive national results, seeing them as more seasonal than anything else.

“Although the summer gains appear to signal strong growth in home prices, it’s important to keep in mind that these gains are off of the record lows of winter,” Villacorta said. “With summer coming to a close and the price gains clearly starting to level off, the market is at a critical juncture as to whether it can avoid another significant downturn into the slower buying seasons of fall and winter.”

And if economic indicators are anything, waning consumer confidence may have an impact on those seasonal gains, Villacorta added. The Economic Confidence Index (ECI), for instance, which is formulated by Gallup, is currently at -49. The more positive the ECI, the better consumer confidence; inversely, the more negative the ECI, the worse.

“The latest readings on consumer confidence paint an ominous picture that at present, consumers are still not ready to risk jumping into the market despite very low mortgage rates and very affordable home prices,” Villacorta said.

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