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Report: Home prices still ‘have room to run’

WASHINGTON – Dec. 6, 2016 – There’s still a lot of equity-building potential for homeowners. Freddie Mac’s Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi) stands at 86, which the mortgage giant says is on the “outer edge of its historic benchmark range of housing activity.”

In Florida, the Index is a bit better coming in at 86.7 in the latest reading. An index score of 100 indicates a housing market that equals its historic, long-term average.

However, Freddie also found that Florida ranked second behind Nevada for most improved state year-to-year. In Fla., the index rose 11.58 percent compared to Nevada’s 11.74 percent. Freddie Mac’s study found it “in range” of its historically stable housing market and “improving.” Two Florida cities – Orlando and Tampa – rank in the top five nationally for “most improved.”

MiMi assesses each market – national, state and selected metro areas – relative to its own long-term stable range by looking at home purchase applications, payment-to-income ratios (changes in home purchasing power based on house prices, mortgage rates and household income), proportion of current mortgage payments in each market and the local employment picture.

The index nationwide has climbed 45 percent since its all-time low set in 2010. It continues to trail below its historic benchmark normalized of 100 and far from its high of 121.7.

“The purchase applications indicator is up nearly 19 percent from last year, indicating strong housing demand and a market that’s poised to close out the best year in home sales in a decade,” says Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist. “National home prices have surpassed their pre-recession nominal peak with about half of states still below their pre-recession peak. Factoring in low mortgage rates and modest income gains, house prices still have some room to run, as indicated by the MiMi payment-to-income indicator which is nearly 33 percent below its historic benchmark.”

Forty-one of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, have MiMi values within range of benchmark averages.

MiMi ranking for top states

Utah (100.4)
Colorado (97.8)
Hawaii (97)
Idaho (96.7)
North Dakota (95.8)
Oregon at (95.8)
MiMi state ranking for most improved year-to-year

Nevada (+11.74 percent
Florida (+11.58 percent)
Massachusetts (+11.35 percent)
Mississippi (+9.76 percent)
New Jersey (+9.61 percent)
MiMi metro ranking for most improved year-to-year

Orlando, Fla. (+17.85 percent)
Worcester, Mass. (+14.49 percent)
Tampa, Fla. (+14.36 percent)
Chattanooga, Tenn. (+14.20 percent)
Dallas, Texas (+13.89 percent)
An increase in mortgage rates likely will dampen affordability and demand for home sales next year, Kiefer adds.

“Though we’ve come far, as indicated in the national statistics, housing still has significant room for improvement in many markets across the country as indicated by the fact that 24 out of the top 100 metros are still more than 20 percent below their historic benchmark, as measured by MiMi,” Kiefer says.

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