In a good sign that housing affordability remains prevalent throughout the U.S. housing market, new federal data showed property values declined by their highest percentage in three years during the first quarter of 2011.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency released its latest home price index report, noting U.S. property values declined 2.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous period. That was the fastest rate of decline since the fourth quarter of 2008, said the report, adding that home prices also dropped 5.5 percent on a year-over-year basis. Consumers looking to purchase a new home could likely encounter many affordable options, said experts.
"House prices in the first quarter declined in most parts of the country," said FHFA Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco. "In many local real estate markets, particularly those hit hard by this cycle, foreclosures and other distressed properties are still a key factor in recorded and anticipated future sales and may be delaying price stability or recovery. Fortunately, serious delinquency rates also are declining."
Low mortgage rates are also helping to increase housing affordability, though most estimates say interest rates should rise by the end of 2011. That puts the onus on consumers to apply for a home loan sooner rather than later.
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