Year-over year US home prices up sharply in November

U.S.  home prices in November extended their steady recovery from the housing bust,  rising 7.4 percent compared with a year ago. It was the biggest year-over-year  increase in 6½ years.

CoreLogic,  a private data provider, said Tuesday that prices also rose 0.3 percent in  November from October. The month-to-month figures are not seasonally adjusted.  CoreLogic compiles its indexes by tracking sales of the same homes over time,  using data on sales in all 50 states.

The  gains in home prices have been widespread across most of the country. And  CoreLogic forecasts that prices will increase 6 percent this year.

Prices  in November were higher than in November 2011 in all but six states. And only 13  of 100 large cities that CoreLogic studies reported year-over-year price  declines. That was down from 20 cities in October.

The  sharpest increases were in Arizona, Nevada and Idaho. North Dakota and  California rounded out the top five.

Steady  price increases are helping fuel the housing recovery. They’re encouraging some  people to sell homes and enticing would-be buyers to purchase homes before they  get more expensive. Rising prices also reduce the number of homeowners who owe  more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.

“All  signals currently point to a progressive stabilization of the housing market and  the positive trend in home price appreciation to continue into 2013,” said Anand  Nallathambi, CEO of CoreLogic.

Despite  the gains, home prices nationwide are still nearly 27 percent lower than in  April 2006, when prices peaked during the housing bubble.

Some  of the biggest gains have been in states that were hurt the worst. Prices in one  of them, Arizona, have jumped nearly 21 percent in the past year, the most of  any state. But prices in that state are still nearly 40 percent below  their peak.

And  prices in Nevada have risen 14.2 percent in the past year but remain 53 percent  below peak levels.

The  states where prices continue to fall include Delaware, where they are 4.9  percent below a year ago, and Illinois, down 2.2 percent. Connecticut, New  Jersey, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania are also reporting declines.

Prices  rose 24 percent in Phoenix in the past 12 months, the most of any large metro  area. Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif. was next with a 9.7 percent rise. It was  followed by Los Angeles, where prices rose 8.4 percent.

Source: Sfgate.com

How to Negotiate with Sellers

Buying a home is one of the most important purchases most people will make. In order to make the right decision the first time, potential buyers need to be prepared. Consider the following before starting negotiations:

  • Be prepared Research the housing market in the target area. Once you have information about the general area, focus on the particular property and seller. Look for answers to questions such as:
    1. Why is the homeowner selling? (If they’re moving because they find the area undesirable, you might want to consider this issue.)
    2. How long has the home been on the market? (If it has been on the market for a long time, perhaps there are negative facts about the property that you need to know.)
    3. How much did the seller pay for the home compared to the current asking price? (If the seller paid more, find out why. Was it a general real estate trend, or did property values in that particular neighborhood go down?)
    4. What is the seller’s time frame for selling and moving? Does it fit within your needs?
    5. Are there any defects in the home or problems with the surrounding neighborhood? (For example, is the roof so old that it will likely leak during the next storm? Is there a new construction project in the area that will lead to major traffic congestion?)

As the potential buyer, you want the advantage. While you want answers to all your questions to the seller, reveal very little about your circumstances.

Do not give the seller personal information such as your income, the maximum you are able to pay for a down payment or the home, or when you want to move.

Make sure that your agent knows not to reveal any such information to the seller or his/her agent.

Also, do not let the seller see how much you want the property. If you appear desperate or overly enthusiastic, the seller then has the stronger bargaining position. When meeting with the seller or listing agent, keep your emotions in check.

  • Establish a Timeline Find out if the seller needs to have the sale closed sooner rather than later. If the seller is feeling pressured to sell, use that to your advantage in negotiating. Even if you, the buyer, are the one with the deadline for purchasing a home, don’t let yourself be rushed into making concessions or a purchase you may regret later.