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Altos Research’s latest 10-city composite index of asking prices showed a 1.1% increase in March. This isn’t bad news, but it’s not great news either.
The reason that prices increased is that more expensive homes are lingering on the market and lower priced homes are selling. As a result, the median listing price is shifting higher.
(Remember, these are the prices sellers are asking, not what the homes eventually sell for.)
“It implies some amount of stability in that the bottom is not falling as much,” said Mike Simonsen, co-founder and CEO of Altos Research. “And people are getting more bang for the buck at high end because the price per square foot continues to fall.”
Interestingly, the largest monthly drop was in Salt Lake City, a market that was relatively stable until about a year ago. Salt Lake City asking prices fell 4%. The median asking price in Las Vegas dropped 3.9%. Asking prices rose more than 2% in Los Angeles, Houston, Boston, San Diego and San Francisco.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.