U.S. home prices completed their recovery from the Great Recession in the final quarter of 2015, according to a leading price index. The index shows that prices now stand 0.3% above its early 2007 peak. Home prices fell 20.7% from 2007 to its low point in mid-2011. In the four and a half years since, home prices have increased at a 5.4% average annual rate. In the year ending in 2015’s fourth quarter, home prices rose 5.8%.
- Home prices rose over the past year in 97 of the nation’s largest 100 metro areas. A year ago, 93 of the markets posted price increases. The markets with the strongest and weakest price changes in 2015 were:
- San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA: +20.7%
- North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL: +17.1%
- Honolulu (‘Urban Honolulu’), HI: +16.6%
- Lake County/Kenosha County, IL-WI: -0.3%
- Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT: -0.4%
- New Haven-Milford, CT: -1.5%
- The economy expanded at a 1.0% annual rate during the final quarter of 2015. This is an upward revision from the preliminary 0.7% estimate released in late January. Economic growth was still less than half the 2.1% average annual rate posted since the recovery began in mid-2009.
- Employment rose by 242,000 jobs in February, outpacing last year’s monthly average gain of 228,700 jobs (all figures are seasonally adjusted). Employment expanded by 1.9% in the past twelve months.
- In February, the Labor Market Conditions Index recorded its biggest decline so far during this recovery. The Federal Reserve measure, which incorporates 19 employment indicators, dropped by 2.4 points. That’s the fourteenth consecutive month that the change in the index was less than the 2011-15 monthly average change of +4.3 points.
- The average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages in Freddie Mac’s survey was 3.68% during the week ending March 10, up four basis points from the previous week. The February average of 3.66% was 21 basis points below January’s 3.87% average. All rates quoted have fees and points averaging 0.5% to 0.6% of the loan amount.
Source : Wells Fargo