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Chrisman's Corner: Is the Increase in Housing Prices for Real?

JMAC’s brokers are located in many areas that are seeing price appreciation. And although people talk a lot about it, it is good occasionally to take a look at the actual numbers from an unbiased point of view – like Freddie Mac’s.
Freddie Mac has released the Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi) demonstrating that the housing market is continuing to stabilize and is looking to pick up during the spring home buying season.  The index tracks the top 100 metro housing markets across the U.S. and of these cities analyzed, 60 percent are showing an improving three-month trend. 
The national MiMi value stands at 74.7, which translates into an overall weak housing market but the MiMi value has improved 3.53 percent year over year. The all-time MiMi high was in April 2006 when the index ranked at 121.7, and the lowest was in October 2010 at 57.4. The most improving states month over month were Oregon (2.19%), Michigan (1.71%), Florida (1.52%), California (1.35%) and Kentucky (1.19%). 
The most improving states Year over year were Nevada (11.40%), Colorado (9.60%), Florida (9.14%) and Oregon (8.31%). 
Not only that, but JMAC lends in areas where the job market is doing well. Employment growth is also contributing to an improved housing market and home buyer interest: in areas like Fresno, California, Provo, Utah and Portland, Oregon, employment has improved and homebuyer affordability is strong, resulting in purchase applications up to almost 20 percent compared to a year earlier.
It is not hard for our veteran brokers to remember when, just a few years ago, the job market was tenuous and the housing market falling. What a difference a few years makes! But as JMAC’s brokers know, too much appreciation is not a good thing either – we need those first time home buyers!