Tag Archives: Mt Kisco Luxury Real Estate

Mortgage applications fall to 22 year low | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Mortgage applications decreased 6.5 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending June 3, 2022. This week’s results include an adjustment for the Memorial Day holiday.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 6.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 17 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 6 percent from the previous week and was 75 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 7 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 18 percent compared with the previous week and was 21 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Weakness in both purchase and refinance applications pushed the market index down to its lowest level in 22 years. The 30-year fixed rate increased to 5.4 percent after three consecutive declines. While rates were still lower than they were four weeks ago, they remain high enough to still suppress refinance activity. Only government refinances saw a slight increase last week,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “The purchase market has suffered from persistently low housing inventory and the jump in mortgage rates over the past months. These worsening affordability challenges have been particularly hard on prospective first-time buyers.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 32.2 percent of total applications from 31.5 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 8.2 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications increased to 11.3 percent from 10.8 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 11.4 percent from 10.2 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged at 0.5 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($647,200 or less) increased to 5.40 percent from 5.33 percent, with points increasing to 0.60 from 0.51 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $647,200) increased to 4.99 percent from 4.93 percent, with points increasing to 0.44 from 0.41 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 5.30 percent from 5.20 percent, with points increasing to 0.79 from 0.69 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.62 percent from 4.59 percent, with points increasing to 0.65 from 0.63 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 4.51 percent from 4.46 percent, with points remaining at 0.68 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week. 

If you would like to purchase a subscription of MBA’s Weekly Applications Survey, please visit www.mba.org/WeeklyApps, contact mbaresearch@mba.org or click here.The survey covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks, and thrifts. Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.

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Manhattan apartment sales hit a 32-year high | Mt Kisco Real Estate

More apartments sold in Manhattan in the third quarter of 2021 than at any point during the last 30+ years of tracking, a new real estate market report says. According to a Douglas Elliman report published this week, there were 4,523 closed co-op and condos sales in the quarter, more than triple the same period last year and 76.5 percent higher than the same time in 2019. Even more indicative of the market turnaround following Covid-19, this quarter passed the previous sales record of 3,939 reported in the second quarter of 2007. And in its own market report, The Corcoran Group found sales volume in Manhattan topped $9.5 billion, the highest quarterly volume total ever recorded. This passes the previous record of $8.54 billion set in the second quarter of 2019.

The borough’s sales surge was driven by “rising vaccine adoption, low mortgage rates, and improving economic conditions,” as the city recovers from the pandemic, according to the report.

Compared to the condo glut the Manhattan market saw last year largely because of Covid, inventory has fallen significantly. The report sites 7,694 listings this quarter, a decline of 17.4 percent compared to the same time last year. However, inventory remains high when looking at the 10-year average for the third quarter.

Another notable figure from the report is the increase in the number of “bidding wars,” which includes properties sold above the last listing price. Manhattan’s share of bidding wars rose to 8.3 percent, its highest level in three years, but still way below the 31 percent record set in the third quarter of 2015.

“What we’re seeing right now is a catch-up,” Jonathan Miller, the real estate appraiser who authored the report, told the New York Times in an interview. “All the suburbs were booming while Manhattan was seeing sales at half the normal rate last year. Now we’re seeing this massive surge.”

A third-quarter market report from Brown Harris Stevens looked at resale apartments and how the market is favoring sellers. The average price of resale apartments rose for co-ops by 17 roughly percent and for condos by 15 percent compared to last year. Plus, according to the report, sellers received 97.4 percent of their last asking price, the highest percentage in nearly four years.

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Mortgage rates average 3.02% | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.02 percent.

“Mortgage rates have risen above three percent for the first time in ten weeks,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “As the economy progresses and inflation remains elevated, we expect that rates will continue to gradually rise in the second half of the year. For those homeowners who have not yet refinanced – and there remain many borrowers who could benefit from doing so – now is the time.”

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.02 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending June 24, 2021, up from last week when it averaged 2.93 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.13 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.34 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.24 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.59 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.53 percent with an average 0.3 point, up slightly from last week when it averaged 2.52 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.08 percent.

The PMMS is focused on conventional, conforming, fully amortizing home purchase loans for borrowers who put 20 percent down and have excellent credit. Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Public School Enrollment Trends and Home Prices | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Counties with public school enrollment gains experienced higher price appreciation in the last 7 years, a NAR analysis shows.

Across the country, hallways and classrooms are full of activity. More than three-fourths of the school-aged population, 48.2 million students, were enrolled in a public elementary and secondary school in 2018. Each year, the U.S. Census Bureau releases school enrollment figures that give a snapshot of where these kids choose to enroll.

Based on the data, between fall of 2011 and fall 2018, enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools declined 1.4% across the United States. While the number of students at each grade level is primarily influenced by population trends, enrollment in kindergarten had the highest decline of 5% followed by grade 1 – grade 4 (3%).

However, changes in enrollment vary by area. Among 810 counties, public school enrollment increased in 42% (339 counties) of these counties in the United States. An analysis of county data on school populations reveals that the following counties experienced the highest gains in public school enrollment within the last 7 years:

Parsing out by level of school, most of the counties above experienced a higher increase of public school enrollment in kindergarten, followed by middle school during 2011 and 2018. For instance, in Dallas County, IA, the number of students enrolled in a public school kindergarten in 2018 was 1.8 times higher than the number of students in 2011. This also shows that the population of young kids (5 years old) in Dallas County, IA significantly increased in this area in the last 7 years. However, in Arlington County, VA, the greatest increase occurred at middle school. Students in grades 5 to grade 8 increased by 98% (3,997 more students) in 2018 compared to 2011. Thus, based on the school enrollment data, the population of kids between the ages of 10 and 13 rose in Arlington County during 2011 and 2018.

How does this increase in public school enrollment affect the local area?

First of all, school enrollment growth may reflect stronger local county employment as more new residents move into the region because of jobs and they bring along their school-aged children. At the most basic level, more labor means more goods and services being produced, so that local economic activity rises.

Literature review has shown that homeownership has positive effects on the academic achievement of children1. Homeownership brings residential stability, and stability raises the educational attainment of children. According to a NAR Survey2, over half of recent buyers with children under the age of 18 living in their home cited the school district as an influencing factor in their neighborhood choice. Therefore, since more people are moving to these school districts, housing demand is expected to increase.

Data shows that counties with enrollment gains experienced higher home price increases. In the last 7 years, home prices increased 33 percent on average in the counties with enrollment gains. Especially, in the top 20 counties with the highest enrollment gains, home prices increased 37 percent on average. For instance, in Dallas County, IA, public school enrollment rose 64 percent while home prices increased 51 percent in the last 7 years. Respectively, in Midland County, Texas, public school enrollment increased 31 percent while home prices rose 52 percent. However, home prices rose 18 percent on average in the counties where enrollment declined during 2011 and 2018. Thus, ceteris paribus (with other conditions remaining the same), public school enrollment is estimated to have a positive effect on housing prices.

All in all, REALTORS® should expect busier activity in the counties where public school enrollment is rising.

The graph below shows the positive relationship between public school enrollment and housing prices.

1 Yun, L., & Evangelou, N. (2016). Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing. National Association of Realtors®.

2 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. National Association of REALTORS®
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US Housing Starts Beat Forecasts | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Housing starts in the United States jumped 3.2 percent from a month earlier to an annualized rate of 1,256 thousand in November of 2018, beating market forecasts of a 0.2 percent drop. Starts went up in the Northeast and the South but slumped in the Midwest and the West. Housing Starts in the United States averaged 1432.19 Thousand units from 1959 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 2494 Thousand units in January of 1972 and a record low of 478 Thousand units in April of 2009.

United States Housing Starts

2018-09-1912:30 PMHousing Starts1.282M1.174M1.235M1.171M
2018-10-1712:30 PMHousing Starts1.201M1.268M1.22M1.25M
2018-11-2001:30 PMHousing Starts1.228M1.21M1.23M1.22M
2018-12-1801:30 PMHousing Starts1.256M1.217M1.225M1.22M
2019-01-1701:30 PMHousing Starts1.256M1330
2019-02-2001:30 PMHousing Starts
2019-03-1912:30 PMHousing Starts


US Housing Starts Beat Forecasts

Housing starts in the United States jumped 3.2 percent from a month earlier to an annualized rate of 1,256 thousand in October of 2018, beating market forecasts of a 0.2 percent drop. Starts went up in the Northeast and the South but slumped in the Midwest and the West.

Starts for the volatile multi-family housing segment jumped 24.9 percent to a rate of 417 thousand. On the other hand, single-family homebuilding, which accounts for the largest share of the housing market, went down 4.6 percent to a rate of 824 thousand units, the third straight monthly fall and the the lowest level since May 2017. Starts increased in the South (15.1 percent to 687 thousand) and the Northeast (37.8 percent to 134 thousand) but fell in the West (-14.2 percent to 289 thousand) and the Midwest (-19.2 percent to 156 thousand). Starts for October were revised to 1,217 thousand from 1,228 thousand.
Building permits rose 5 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,328 thousand, compared to market expectations of a 0.4 percent fall. Single-family authorizations edged up 0.1 percent to 848 thousand and multi-family permits advanced 14.8 percent to 480 thousand. Across regions, permits went up in the South (10.5 percent to 708 thousand) and the West (1.6 percent to 323 thousand) while in the Northeast permits were unchanged (at 120 thousand) and in the Midwest dropped (-4.8 percent to 177 thousand).
Year-on-year, housing starts fell 3.6 percent and building permits edged up 0.4 percent.
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China’s biggest risk may be its property market | Mt Kisco Real Estate

China’s hot real estate market remains a challenge for authorities trying to maintain stable economic growth in the face of trade tensions with the U.S.

In fact, property is the country’s biggest risk in the next 12 months, much greater than the trade war, according to Larry Hu, head of greater China economics at Macquarie. He said he is especially watching whether the real estate market in lower-tier, or smaller, cities will see a downturn in prices or housing starts after recent sharp increases.

Real estate investment accounts for about two-thirds of Chinese household assets, according to wealth manager Noah Holdings. The property market also plays a significant role in local government revenues, bank loans and corporate investment. As a result, a sharp slowdown in the real estate market’s growth and drop in prices would have a negative affect on overall economic growth.

So far, the market has been hot: The average selling price for newly built non-governmental housing in 60 tier-three and tier-four cities tracked by Tospur Real Estate Consulting rose 28.1 percent from January 2016 to May 2018. That’s according to a report last week co-authored by Sheng Songcheng, a counselor to the People’s Bank of China and an adjunct professor at the China Europe International Business School, an educational joint-venture co-founded by the Chinese government and the European Union.

Domestic property prices overall have also been rising for more than three years, the longest streak since 2008, the report said, citing National Bureau of Statistics data.

Property sales

Source: Wind, Macquarie Macro Strategy, August 2018

Last week, Nanjing, a tier-two city, announced a ban on corporate purchases of residential properties, following similar moves to limit speculation by Shanghai and some other cities.

“You do not want to give Jeff Bezos a seven-year head start.”
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That’s a good move for controlling risk, according to Joe Zhou, real estate and investment management firm JLL’s regional director for China capital markets. He said the government is not likely to loosen its policy soon and that prices could decline on average.

However, it’s unclear whether a downturn in China’s property market would necessarily impact overall growth on the same scale. The public still expects property prices to increase because the government has constantly switched between tightening and easing policies, often to prevent a drop in growth, CEIBS’ Sheng said in the report.

Analysts also generally predict authorities will counter tightening measures with stimulus in other parts of the economy such as infrastructure. In the meantime, China’s export-reliant economy also faces pressure from U.S. tariffs and rising trade tensions.


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Rental households fall again | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Is a combination of high rents and shifting demographics driving a move from renting to buying?

The latest data from the Census Bureau shows that may be exactly what’s happening.

On Thursday, the Census released its quarterly report on residential vacancies and homeownership. And the report had some good news and bad news, depending on which industry you’re in.

For those who make their living via home buying, the news was mostly good. Homeownership held steady at 64.2%, demonstrating that there may be some underlying strength in the recent increases in homeownership.

But the news wasn’t quite so sunny in the rental world.

While the rental vacancy rate (units that remain unrented) held steady at 7%, the number of rental households fell for the fourth straight quarter.

According to the Census estimates, there were roughly 286,000 fewer renter households during the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of 2017.

Overall, there were approximately 43 million rental households in the U.S. in the first quarter, down from 43.287 million in first quarter of 2017.

Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist and founder of Veritas Urbis Economics, noted that the decrease in rental households is sign that more renters are becoming buyers.

“The fact that we now have four consecutive quarters where owner households increased while renters households fell is a strong sign households are making the switch from renting to buying,” McLaughlin said. “This is a trend that multifamily builders, investors, and landlords should take note of.”

McLaughlin went a step further, suggesting that landlords and multifamily homebuilders should be “nervous” about the seeming shift to buying. “This could lead to less demand for rental units this year, and downward pressure on rents,” McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin also noted that demographics may be playing a role in the shift between renting and buying.

“Households under 35 – which represent the largest potential pool of new homeowners in the U.S. – have shown some of the largest gains,” McLaughlin said. “While they only make up a third of all homebuyers, the steady uptick in their homeownership rate over the past year suggests their enormous purchasing power may be finally coming to housing market.”

The downward pressure on rents may be needed, as the Census report showed that during the first quarter, median asking rents rose to the highest level since 1988, which is as far as back the Census data goes.

Median asking rent Q1 2018

(Click to enlarge. Image courtesy of the Census Bureau.)

According to the Census report, the median asking rent was $954 in the first quarter, up $80 from the first quarter of last year. It’s also up $44 from the fourth quarter of 2017. The previous high was $912, which was recorded during the 3rd quarter of 2017.

Rent hit record levels in each of the four regions as well. In the Northeast, the median asking rent rose from $1,153 in the fourth quarter to $1,279 in the first quarter. In the same time period last year, the median asking rent was $1,057.

In the Midwest, the median asking rent climbed to $764, up from $725 in the fourth quarter and $716 in 2017’s first quarter.

In the South, the increase was much slighter, with rent rising from $906 in the fourth quarter to $907 in the first quarter. In the first quarter of last year, the rent was $847.

In the West, the increase was much more significant. In the first quarter, the median asking rent was $1,345, which was up from $1,210 in the fourth quarter and $1,132 in the first quarter of 2017.

In a note sent out after the report’s release, Matthew Pointon, property economist at Capital Economics, suggested that the rental data may actually be a little rosier than it appears.

“Given the number of existing homes for sale recently dropped to a record low, it is no surprise that the homeowner vacancy rate fell to 1.5% in the first-quarter, the joint-lowest rate for 24 years,” Pointon wrote.

“That has put a stop to what had been a gradual rise in the homeownership rate. It is also supporting rental demand. Despite a large rise in the number of rental apartments hitting the market over the past couple of years, the multifamily rental vacancy rate has held steady at just over 8% for the past six-months,” Pointon added.

Pointon said that the 7% overall rental vacancy rate is low by historical standards, and suggested that the news may show that multifamily housing is on firmer footing than it appears.

“At 8.2%, the multifamily rental vacancy rate is down marginally from 8.3% in the final quarter of last year, and suggests concerns about a large degree of oversupply of rental apartments is overblown,” Pointon said. “While a large number of apartments are being built, the lack of homes to buy is supporting rental demand. In turn, that argues against a sharp slowdown in rental growth this year.”


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Is the rent finally too damn high? Rent households fall again, homeownership holds steady

U. S. homebuilding falls | Mt Kisco Real Estate

U.S. homebuilding fell more than expected in February as a plunge in the construction of multi-family housing units offset a second straight monthly increase in single-family projects.

Housing starts declined 7.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.236 million units, the Commerce Department said on Friday. Data for January was revised up slightly to show groundbreaking increasing to a 1.329 million-unit pace instead of the previously reported 1.326 million units.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast housing starts falling to a pace of 1.290 million units last month. Permits for future home building decreased 5.7 percent to a rate of 1.298 million units in February.

Pole Homes Sunshine Coast financial markets were little moved by the data.

While the volatile multi-family housing segment accounted for the decline in home building last month, the broader housing market appears to be slowing.

Sales of both new and previously owned homes have slumped in recent months as a dearth of properties on the market pushed up prices, sidelining some first-time home buyers. House price gains topped 6.0 percent in December.

Mortgage rates have also risen, with the 30-year fixed-rate currently averaging 4.44 percent, not too far from a four-year high of 4.46 percent, according to mortgage finance agency Freddie Mac. But the housing market remains underpinned by a robust labor market.

There is growing optimism that tightening job market conditions will translate into faster wage growth in the second half of this year. Annual wage growth has been stuck below 3.0 percent even as the unemployment rate has dropped to a 17-year low of 4.1 percent.

Single-family homebuilding, which accounts for the largest share of the housing market, increased 2.9 percent to a rate of 902,000 units in February. Single-family home construction rose in the Northeast, South and West, but tumbled in the Midwest.

Permits to build single-family homes slipped 0.6 percent in February to a 872,000 unit-pace. With permits lagging starts, single-family home construction could slow in the months ahead.

A survey on Thursday showed confidence among homebuilders dipping in March, but remaining in strong territory. Builders were less upbeat about sales and buyer traffic over the next six months.

Starts for the volatile multi-family housing segment tumbled 26.1 percent to a rate of 334,000 units in February, the lowest level since September 2017. Permits for the construction of multi-family homes dropped 14.8 percent to a 426,000 unit-pace.

Housing completions increased 7.8 percent to a rate of 1.319 million units in February. That was the highest level since January 2008. The number of single-family houses completed last month was the highest since March 2008.

There were 501,000 single-family housing units under construction in February, the most since June 2008. This should help to alleviate some of the property shortage and probably slow the house price inflation.

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Recent Homes Have Just Over 3 Toilets | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Single-family homes built after the 1990s have an average of 3.1 toilets, 2.6 showers and 2.3 bathtubs, according to a recent NAHB study.

Standard tables from the Survey of Construction (SOC, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau with partial funding from HUD) show that the share of single-family homes built with at least 2 bathrooms has increased regularly from 60 percent of homes completed in 1973 to 97 percent of homes completed in 2016.  This suggests that the number of bathroom fixtures should also be on the riese, but this is not one of the things that it has been possible to investigate using SOC data.

It can be investigated, however, with data that has recently become available from the Residential End Uses of Water (REUW) study from the Water Research Foundation (WRF).  The REUW is the source of information on water use in single-family homes in the recent NAHB article on the topic.  Consistent with the increasing number bathrooms, the REUW data show that the average number of toilets, showers and bathtubs all increase regularly as single-family homes become newer.  For example, the average number of toilets increases regularly from 1.9 in homes built before 1960 to 3.1 for homes built after 1999.

Perhaps surprisingly, the published REUW study did not show a statistical relationship between the number of bathroom fixtures and the amount of water used by a particular single-family.  The WRF constructed several models from REUW data, estimating outdoor water use, total indoor use, and a number of different individual indoor uses.  NAHB economists reviewed these models and judged them to be generally well constructed and a good use of the available data, and saw no obvious reason to critique them or suggest alternatives.

Although the number of bathroom fixtures does not affect water use in any of the WRF models, the presence of efficient toilets and clothes washers does.  Given government standards that have been promulgated and modified since 1990, it should not be surprising that efficient fixtures were most common in the newest REUW homes.  For example, of the homes built after 1999, 71 percent had toilets that averaged less than 1.6 gallon per flush, 51 percent had toilets that averaged less than 1.28 gallons per flush and 80 percent had ENERGY STAR rated clothes driers.  All three of these percentages are higher than they are for homes in any of the earlier vintage categories

Estimates of total water use, as well as the amount of water used by specific features, in single-family homes were discussed in last week’s post.  For a more thorough discussion of the REUW and what if finds has an impact on water used by a single-family home, please consult the full NAHB study.


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Home prices continue to rise | Mt Kisco Real Estate

The S&P/Case-Shiller and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released their respective home price indices for August 2017. National home prices rose at a faster annual growth rate, while local home price gains varied. Price growth in metro areas across the West region exceeded the national average.

The Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, reported by S&P Dow Jones Indices, rose at a seasonally adjusted annual growth rate of 6.1% in August, faster than a 5.8% increase in July. It was the highest seasonally adjusted annual growth rate since February 2017. Meanwhile, the Home Price Index, released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 8.3% in April, following the 4.5% increase in July, confirming the acceleration in home prices this month.

In August, local home prices grew at different rates. Many of the faster growing metro areas are located in the West region of the country.

San Diego, Las Vegas, Seattle, San Francisco, Phoenix, and Los Angeles registered annual growth rates that exceeded the national average. Among the 20 metro areas, San Diego, Las Vegas and Charlotte had the highest home price appreciation. San Diego led the way with 12.2%, followed by Las Vegas with 11.0% and Charlotte with a 10.8% increase. Nineteen out of the 20 metro areas had home price appreciation and Atlanta had home price depreciation (-2.4%). Moreover, eight metro areas had higher home price appreciation than the national level of 6.1%.



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