Sunday 22 October 2017

US house prices slide as foreclosures boost supply

Foreclosures in the US are boosting the supply of available properties and reducing prices, even as mortgage rates tumble to record lows. Photo: Getty Images
Foreclosures in the US are boosting the supply of available properties and reducing prices, even as mortgage rates tumble to record lows. Photo: Getty Images

Kathleen Howley

US house prices dropped 3.3pc in July from a year earlier, the eighth consecutive decline, as foreclosed properties flooded the market.

Prices fell half a percent from June, the Federal Housing Finance Agency in Washington said in a report yesterday.

Economists had projected prices to fall 0.2pc from the previous month. The agency revised the previously reported May-to-June decline to 1.2pc from 0.3pc.

Foreclosures are boosting the supply of available properties and reducing prices, even as mortgage rates tumble to record lows. The time it would take to clear the market of homes for sale was nearly 13 months in July, the highest in more than a decade of data, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Banks seized a record 95,364 properties from delinquent borrowers in August, according to RealtyTrac, a California-based seller of housing data.

"We have a lot of homes for sale, and a lot of them are distressed properties," said Thomas Lawler, president of Lawler Housing and Economic Consulting in Virginia. "That is putting downward pressure on home prices."

The biggest price loss was 1.6pc in the region that includes Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, according to the report. The area that includes Arizona and Nevada posted the second-largest decline, at 1.5pc.

Nationally, sales of existing homes in July plunged 27pc to a 3.83 million annual pace, the lowest on record, NAR said last month. July sales of new homes dropped to an annual pace of 276,000, the fewest since data began in 1963. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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