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Home Prices See Largest Increase Since February 2006

June 4, 2013

The housing market is showing steady gains throughout 2013, and home price increases are a welcome sign that the trend will continue throughout the remainder of the year. 

According to CoreLogic's April Home Price Index, home prices, including distressed sales, jumped 12.1 percent in April on a year-over-year comparison, accounting for the largest increase in home prices since February 2006. Excluding distressed sales, home prices increased 11.9 percent in April 2013 compared to April 2012.

Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, said that the increasing demand for new and existing homes, and low inventory in today's housing market, has created a 'virtuous cycle for price gains,' particularly in western states, which saw increases of 20 percent or more on a year-over-year comparison.

The latest CoreLogic Home Price Index also showed home prices have continued to show month-over-month improvements. According to the index, home prices increased 3.2 percent in April compared to March, marking the 14th consecutive month of month-over-month increases.

"The pace of the housing market recovery quickened in April as home prices rose across the U.S.," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "For the second consecutive month, all 50 states registered year-over-year home price gains excluding sales of distressed homes. We expect this trend to continue, bolstered by tight supplies and pent up buyer demand."

Home prices up during first quarter
According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, home prices increased during the first quarter of 2013. 

The report indicated that home prices were up 1.9 percent in the first quarter when compared to the fourth quarter of last year, and were up 6.7 percent when compared to the first quarter of last year. 

With the housing market showing robust gains, those after the historically low mortgage rates are finding that now is a good time to make a purchase, especially when compared to recent years. 

"The housing market has stabilized in many areas and home building activity has strengthened in recent quarters," said FHFA Principal Economist Andrew Leventis. "That said, labor market weakness and still-elevated foreclosure pipelines remain hindrances to a more robust recovery."

The FHFA's Home Price Index showed home prices were up 1.3 percent in March when compared to February.


How to Improve Your Credit

If you’ve had credit problems, be prepared to discuss them honestly with your mortgage professional.  Responsible mortgage professionals know there can be legitimate reasons for credit problems, such as unemployment, illness, or other financial difficulties.  If you had a problem that’s been corrected and your payments have been on time for a year or more, your credit may be considered satisfactory.

If you currently have excess debt, there are four ways to control it:

  1. If your credit is not in terrible shape, you can reduce your other expenses, even if it means making hard choices or changing your lifestyle to fit your income.  Consider selling a second car, taking equity out of your home, applying for a non-secured signature loan, obtaining a loan from a relative, selling family heirlooms or jewelry, cashing out your 401(k) or other retirement benefits, or selling your home and paying off your debts with the proceeds and then renting.  (Note:  Taking money from your retirement accounts or tapping the cash value of your life insurance policy to pay bills or living expenses may have serious implications you haven’t considered, so get advice from an expert before you take any major financial actions.)
  1. If your credit is already damaged or one of the above isn’t an option, go through your local Consumer Credit Counseling Services (CCCS).  CCCS may be able to help you pay off your debts as if you were in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but you don’t actually file for bankruptcy.
  1. If CCCS won’t take you, you may want to consider bankruptcy.  Claiming Chapter 13 bankruptcy takes longer than a Chapter 7, but your credit will end up in a little better standing.  Chapter 13 bankruptcy gives you up to five years to pay off your debts.  The disadvantage is that you’re in bankruptcy for up to five years, plus your credit report shows your bankruptcy for seven more years after you have finished paying off your debts.
  1. If you are so far in debt that you can never repay it, then the best solution may be a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the least desirable from a credit standpoint, but you are typically out of bankruptcy in six months and you don’t have to repay most debt.  The disadvantage is that this shows on your credit report for ten years from the date of filing your bankruptcy.  Creditors are tightening their credit requirements, and you may have a tough time getting future financing.

If your debts are under control now but you want to improve your bad credit history, the most important factor is to make your monthly payments on time.  Late payments may mean late fees, higher interest, and/or a negative mark on your credit report.  Send your payment as early as possible if you carry a balance.  Most companies calculate interest on a daily basis, so the sooner they receive your payment, the less interest you’ll pay.

If you are worried about making payments, make a list of your debts and when the payments are due.  If you think you will have trouble meeting the monthly payments, contact your lenders immediately to arrange a payment schedule.

Please do not hesitate to contact your Academy Mortgage Loan Officer if you have any questions or are experiencing any difficulties with your mortgage.


Academy Mortgage and its employees do not provide credit repair or credit counseling services.  Each state has its own bankruptcy laws, so you need to check with your state for details.  The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be a legal opinion or legal advice, nor is it intended to be a complete discussion of all the issues related to credit or bankruptcy.  Every individual’s factual situation is different, and you should seek independent legal advice regarding your specific situation before undertaking any course of action.




What You Need for Your Loan Application

Use the following checklist to be sure you have everything you need for your loan application.

Please contact your Academy Loan Officer with any questions or concerns.