Home Asking Prices Tick Up, But Rents Climbing Faster

For many homeowners it’s old news: home prices are in a deep funk with a bottom still elusive in many cities.
But the real estate site Trulia offers some hope as it tracks an uptick in asking prices for March that registered 1.4 percent higher than three months ago.
Asking prices – which lead sales prices by about two or more months – had been declining prior to February and reached a low in January, Trulia said. The Trulia Price Monitor is seasonally adjusted, so monthly and quarterly increases take into account springtime price jumps.
Asking prices increased month-over-month by 0.9 percent in March and 0.6 percent in February.
“Asking prices rose in February and March, but this doesn’t mean that the bottom is forever behind us,” said Jed Kolko, Trulia’s Chief Economist. “Meanwhile, some relief is in sight for strapped renters as the wave of new multi-family buildings that broke ground in 2011 will be completed later this year.”
The “robo-signing” U.S. mortgage settlement with the top five lenders will accelerate the foreclosure process, “pushing more homes onto the market and dragging down prices in areas that suffered most from the housing crash,” Kolko said.
Meanwhile, rents are in a much clearer climb, jumping nationally 5.0 percent year-over-year, Trulia said.
Rents jumped 6.2 percent in New York and 6.1 percent in Chicago, but only 0.6 percent in Los Angeles.
Rents surged in Miami (12.1 percent) and Denver (9.9 percent), which also experienced large asking price increases.
Meanwhile, rents rose in some cities as prices fell, most notably in San Francisco (rents up 11.1 percent), Seattle (9.7 percent), San Jose (9.4 percent) and Boston (9.2 percent).

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