SOURCE: Radar Logic

Radar Logic

January 21, 2010 00:01 ET

Radar Logic Report Shows Unseasonable Strength in Housing Market

Home Sales Increased and Housing Prices Remained Stable in November, a Month in Which They Usually Decline

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - January 21, 2010) - November provided further evidence of recovery in the housing market, according to the November 2009 RPX Monthly Housing Market Report released today by Radar Logic Incorporated.

Home sales, as indicated by RPX transactions counts, increased in all 25 metropolitan areas covered by the report relative to a year prior. Home sales across all 25 cities have increased 1.5% on a month-over-month basis and 46.7% year-over-year. The 25-city transaction count increased in nine of the eleven months ending November 2009, including months in the late summer and autumn in which home sales usually decline.

Eight metropolitan areas posted year-over-year price increases in November, more than any month since July 2007, which was the month after Radar Logic's 25-metropolitan-area RPX Composite price hit its peak. On a month-over-month basis, the performance of the RPX Composite price during November 2009 was stronger than it has been during the month of November since 2005, when the housing boom was nearing its peak.

The housing market's strength in November can be attributed to increases in home affordability. Several factors affecting affordability were far more favorable in November 2009 than they were during the housing boom. Home prices, as measured by the RPX Composite, were at mid-2003 levels, while the average household income was roughly 16% higher than it was in 2003, based on estimates from US Census Bureau data. Households carried less debt as a percentage of income, according to the Federal Reserve, and interest rates on conforming mortgages were at their lowest levels in at least a decade. As long as these factors remain favorable, housing demand should remain strong.

"We believe that the housing market is poised for significant recovery," said Michael Feder, President and CEO of Radar Logic. "Affordability measures are at their highest levels in years and home sales are moving toward normal levels. Nationwide, foreclosure sales have declined from 29% of total sales in November 2008 to 23% of sales in November 2009. These are positive forces that put the housing market in a strong position for growth in 2010."

"When you look at the seasonal pattern in the RPX Composite before the housing bust, you see that most of the seasonal declines occur by November," said Quinn Eddins, Radar Logic's Director of Research. "In light of this pattern, we do not expect seasonal factors to cause home prices to decline between now and the beginning of the 2010 buying season. As most of the Federal Government's housing assistance programs are scheduled to continue through the end of the first quarter, we expect housing demand, and therefore housing prices, to remain stable until the beginning of the buying season. At that point seasonal strength should cause home prices to rise again."

The complete November 2009 RPX Monthly Housing Market Report is available on Radar Logic's website: www.radarlogic.com/research/RPXMonthlyHousingMarketReportforNovember2009.pdf

Report Methodology

The RPX Monthly Housing Market Report is produced by Radar Logic Incorporated, a New York-based real estate data and analytics company. These reports provide insight and detailed analysis of Radar Logic's 25 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and the Manhattan Condo market. This study is based on the premise that each of the MSAs, while having economic influences in common like credit and mortgage rates, is influenced primarily by local conditions.

Data in the RPX Monthly Housing Market Report reflect the 28-day aggregated value of Radar Logic Daily™ Prices. The price per square foot metric used is a powerful tool for analyzing housing markets because it significantly reduces the influence of property sizes on overall housing price trends, which can skew results. The Daily Prices for each MSA are not adjusted for seasonal variations. In some cases, Daily Prices may vary based on reporting characteristics within individual MSAs.

The December 2009 RPX Monthly Housing Market Report will be released on February 18, 2010, at 12:01 AM EST.

About Radar Logic

Radar Logic Incorporated, a real estate data and analytics company, calculates and publishes the Radar Logic Daily™ Prices. The prices track housing values for major U.S. metropolitan areas and are the basis of the Residential Property Index™ (RPX™), a market that enables real estate to be traded as a liquid asset, via property derivatives marketed by major financial institutions. RPX allows real estate and financial professionals to manage opportunity and risk, invest in real estate values without owning physical assets and effectively analyze markets using a consistent metric: price per square foot.

For more information on Radar Logic and the RPX, including licensed dealers, please visit www.radarlogic.com.

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