SOURCE: Integrated Asset Services

Integrated Asset Services

January 12, 2010 12:09 ET

Seasonal Chill Settles on November Housing Prices

Warm-Up in the South Not Enough to Lift IAS360 House Price Index Into Positive Territory

DENVER, CO--(Marketwire - January 12, 2010) - Integrated Asset Services®, LLC (IAS®) (www.iasreo.com), a leader in default management and residential collateral valuations, today released the latest IAS360® House Price Index (HPI) (www.iasreo.com/ias360_update.html). Based on the timeliest and most granular data available in the industry, the index for national house prices fell 0.3% in November.

With the small decline, the third straight for the index, the leading benchmark for U.S. housing stands virtually unchanged from the beginning of 2009.

The South, for its part, jumped a solid 2.3% for November as the steady declines in Florida slowed. The Sunshine State slipped fractionally again for the month, but after dropping nearly 45% from its high-water mark in June 2006, the worst declines may be over. The Northeast, meanwhile, fell for the third month in a row, losing another 1.8% in October, as important population centers like Westchester County, NY, Morris County, NJ, and Frederick County, MD suffered declines upwards of 5%. The Midwest, too, lost more ground for the month, slipping another 1.7%, while the West gained 0.5% for the second month in a row.

"Given the weak labor market and the tight credit environment, it's not surprising to see some weakening in prices through these winter months," said Dave McCarthy, President and CEO of Integrated Asset Services. "Even in the best economies, the winter season is associated with fewer home sales and increased days on market. And these are hardly the best of economies."

Of particular concern is a stubbornly high unemployment rate that's causing more Americans to fall behind on their mortgage payments. Recent reports suggest the number of distressed properties in the foreclosure pipeline is both substantial and growing. The resulting "shadow inventory" of real estate owned (REO) that banks and mortgage companies are likely to place on the market could weigh on house prices well into 2010.

Mortgage rates, in the meantime, have begun to inch up, putting even more pressure on home buyers. On December 24, Freddie Mac reported that the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 5.05%, the first time the mortgage benchmark has been above 5% since the end of October.

"Despite the extent of the declines to date, the risk of renewed weakening in house price still looms large," says McCarthy. "The potential for another wave of distressed properties coming to market, from both private sellers and banks, remains very high."

The IAS360 uses "next-generation" trending methodology to identify market trends earlier than any other index. IAS data includes non-conforming, bank-owned, and conventional sales transactions segmented by property type in addition to those insured by the FHA and VA. The IAS360 also considers REO transactions along with arms-length transactions. The index is published weeks earlier than competing HPIs and refreshes historical trends as new data becomes available. The IAS360 is designed to report changes when they happen for the most accurate and useful view of the U.S. housing market.

Integrated Asset Services offers full service, end-to-end mortgage service solutions including valuation and data analytics. The company's i-Series® collateral valuation platform (http://www.iasreo.com/iseries.html) delivers a comprehensive combination of collateral valuation services that individually offer distinct and critical data, and when combined, a complete view of market volatility, local expert opinions and subject value. Its data analytics provide vital data on the U.S. residential housing market.

Editor's note: IAS360 (www.iasreo.com/ias360.html) HPI data, charts, and interviews are available upon request. Data for 2008 and since the peak of 2006 are available at levels from national to MSA to neighborhood for a fee.

About Integrated Asset Services, LLC

IAS (www.iasreo.com) is a privately held Colorado-based corporation specializing in default mortgage services including valuation, reconciliation and full cycle REO disposition. The Company's advanced valuation and volatility technology combined with its expert professional services help its clients reduce exposure while expediting the entire asset management process. Founded by REO industry experts, IAS provides services that go beyond industry expectations, from the level of integrity of its employees to the measurably better service it routinely provides.

This press release contains various forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding future results of operations and market opportunities that are based on IntelliReal and IAS' current expectations, assumptions, estimates and projections about the company and its industry. Investors are cautioned that actual results could differ materially from those anticipated by the forward-looking statements as a result of the success of IAS' branding and consumer awareness campaign and other marketing efforts; competition from existing and potential competitors; and IAS' ability to continue to develop and integrate new products, services and technologies. Due to the timeliness of the data, the IAS360 House Price Index is subject to revisions on a monthly basis.

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