SOURCE: Integrated Asset Services

Integrated Asset Services

November 09, 2010 14:00 ET

Third Quarter Slide in House Prices Signals Troubling Times Ahead for U.S. Economy

IAS360 House Price Index Turns Downward Again as Distressed Property Inventory Weighs Heavy on Marketplace

DENVER, CO--(Marketwire - November 9, 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) (http://www.iasreo.com/ias360-house-price-index-from-ias). Based upon the most granular data available in the industry, the benchmark for national house prices fell 0.2% during the third-quarter of 2010.

In front of a seasonal slow-down in home sales, the IAS data portend particularly difficult times ahead for the country's housing market and for the U.S. economy overall.

The IAS360 HPI reported house values across the U.S. fell across the third quarter, a period traditionally boosted by seasonal factors that drive home sales. Only the Northeast region, mostly on isolated gains in New York and Washington D.C., reported positive movement for the quarter, as the Midwest plunged 1.4%, the West, despite occasional pickups in California, dropped 0.5%, and the South fell 0.4%.

IAS360 HPI data show the West, which in addition to California includes Las Vegas, the nation's hardest-hit metro area, is now down 27.6% from its peak, far and away the poorest performing census region in the country. The IAS report also confirms that the nation's most devastated counties, several of which are down more than 50% in three years, are showing no signs of bottoming. Among the worst, Monterey County in California, now down 41% over the last year, fell another 3.8% in the quarter, while Lee County in Florida, off some 39% since third quarter 2009, dropped another 4.3% for the three-month period.

"Our granular data have been telling us all along that the housing crisis is not over," said Ryan Tomazin, President of Integrated Asset Services, provider of the IAS360 HPI. "The worst may be behind us, but I have to think this combination of slowing home sales in the middle of a generally weak economy will make it very difficult for the market to recover any time soon."

Top U.S. officials, meanwhile, including the head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, are openly acknowledging the damage a potential foreclosure debacle could unleash on the country's housing market and on its banking system. There are outward fears that the U.S. banking system could be burdened with even greater losses if the foreclosure crisis causes the backlog of distressed properties to swell, putting further pressure on housing prices.

Industry estimates of homes currently in near-term danger of foreclosure range between three and 11 million properties. Nearly a million homes are expected to be re-possessed this year.

In addition, a federal investigation into the processing of foreclosures by some banks, the so-called robo-signing controversy, is casting another cloud over the housing market. There are concerns that the investigation could slow the housing market correction as banks hold back foreclosures. Fewer foreclosures mean the supply of those homes for sale goes down and investors will be more reluctant to buy them.

"It's clear the housing market still faces many problems, not least of which the potentially disastrous number of foreclosures that may occur over the coming years," said Tomazin. "For any number of reasons, the housing market is very fragile to say the least."

The IAS360 HPI 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 HPI also considers REO transactions along with arms-length transactions.

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/i-series-collateral-valuation-platform) 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.

Integrated Asset Services recently issued a report on the mortgage servicing industry outlining the latest advancement in valuation technology to have emerged out of the U.S. foreclosure crisis. The report, "A New Era Of Mortgage Servicing: Out of Crisis, Solutions," describes how innovative companies are producing 'trend lines' for virtually any segment of the marketplace and how this new level of granularity will lead the way to a more stable and productive mortgage lending industry. To receive a copy of "A New Era Of Mortgage Servicing" visit http://www.iasreo.com/a-new-era-of-mortgage-servicing.

Editor's note: IAS360 (http://www.iasreo.com/ias360-house-price-index-from-ias) 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's 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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