During the past six months, we have reviewed the condition of U.S. housing five times: http://www.examiner.com/article/roller-coaster-housing-news-part-i; http://www.examiner.com/article/roller-coaster-housing-news-part-ii; http://www.examiner.com/article/roller-coaster-housing-news-part-iii; http://www.examiner.com/article/one-more-sign-of-a-housing-recovery-big-money; http://www.examiner.com/article/illinois-continues-to-lag-the-u-s
Earlier this week, CoreLogic released its final 2012 report on housing data, and at the national level, the data was extremely encouraging!
The CoreLogic December HPI report revealed that U.S. home prices, on a year-over-year basis, moved upward by an amazing 8.3% (comparing this past December with December of 2011). The monthly change from November of 2012 was an increase of 0.4%.
The primary reason for positive excitement about these numbers is the starkly improving long-term trend: the 8.3% price jump in 2012 was the largest increase in over six years. Just as importantly, the December monthly increase was the tenth straight national home price upward move!
While presenting CoreLogic’s report, its chief economist, Mark Fleming, said: “We expect price growth to continue in January, as our Pending HPI shows strong year-over-year appreciation.” http://nationalmortgageprofessional.com/news34201/10th-consecutive-month-home-prices-are-rise-according-corelogic Following up and amplifying Fleming’s remarks was the CEO of CoreLogic, Anand Nallathambi: “We are heading into 2013 with home prices on the rebound. The upward trend in home prices in 2012 was broad based, with 46 of 50 states registering gains for the year. All signals point to a continued improvement…”
The “caveat” that Mr. Nallathambi referred to in his statement (“46 of 50 states”) is the large “however…” that was revealed in this report. Put a different way, five states experienced spectacular home price jumps during 2012: 1) Arizona (up 20.2%); 2) Nevada (up 15.3%); 3) Idaho (up 14.6%); 4) California (up 12.6%); and 5) Hawaii (up 12.5%). In sharp contrast, four states had the distinction of being the only U.S. states to experience negative home price movement. And, as you might have guessed by now, Illinois not only falls within that group, it actually showed the next to worst home price change of 2012! Only Delaware (-3.4%) had a lower figure. Illinois tracked at -2.7% for the year, while New Jersey (-0.9%) and Pennsylvania (-0.5%) filled out that “bottom rung”.
For those wondering why Illinois is struggling relative to the national average, our results are directly related to the way Illinois regulates the foreclosure process. We are one of a handful of “judicial foreclosure” states – meaning that the court system must process all foreclosures. On the bright side, this does provide a bit of extra protection for distressed home owners; however, it also drags out the housing recovery process. RealtyTrac reports that Illinois had the fifth highest foreclosure rate in the country during 2012 – a disturbing statistic. However, CoreLogic data offers hope. Its report reveals a steadily decreasing share of Chicago homes in the foreclosure process – moving from 6.37% in November of 2011, to 5.7% in October of 2012, and then 5.57% in November! Let’s hope that positive trend continues. In fact, we had better hope real hard, because CoreLogic also revealed that 10.1% of Chicago area mortgages are at least 90 days past due (“seriously delinquent”).