Asking prices appreciate slightly as mortgage rates remain near all-time lows

As the housing market and economy start to build momentum, a recent real estate trend has some sellers asking for more money when selling their properties.

As the housing market and economy start to build momentum, a recent real estate trend has some sellers asking for more money when selling their properties.

In the wake of the housing market collapse, the national average asking price of homes was in free fall. However, as conditions start to stabilize, the Trulia Price Monitor indicated that the asking prices were 1.4 percent higher in March than they were a quarter earlier. Meanwhile, from the previous month, asking prices were 0.9 percent lower.

"Asking prices rose in February and March, but this doesn't mean that the bottom is forever behind us," said Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko. "The robo-signing settlement will accelerate the foreclosure process, pushing more homes onto the market and dragging down prices in areas that suffered most from the housing crash. 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."

Regionally, real estate data from the report shows that there were some housing markets that saw gains in asking prices that were significantly higher than the national average. For instance, in Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida, asking prices surged 14.8 percent in March from a year earlier, while prices in Miami rose 14.2 percent during the same period. In addition, Phoenix also reported a double-digit gain of 13.2 percent.

After the housing market crash, these markets had high rates of mortgage delinquencies, and subsequently foreclosures. As the asking prices in the metropolitan areas see notable gains, it could be an indicator that this issue is finally behind them.

In contrast, there were a number of housing markets that reported decline in asking prices. For example, Tacoma, Washington, saw its requested property price plummet 11.9 percent, while Seattle reported a decline of 9.1 percent. 

Although asking prices ticked upward in some marketplaces, Freddie Mac reported that mortgage rates remained below 4 percent during the week ending April 5.

"Average weekly mortgage rates were little changed this week amid mixed signals on the health of the economy.

This is the second consecutive week that rates have remained below this mark, making the prospect of qualifying for a mortgage more affordable to many potential borrowers.



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