National home prices will bottom this summer

May 09, 2012 01:30PM

Home prices nationwide are set to bottom out by the end of summer, according to data released yesterday by Fiserv-Case Shiller. In the final quarter of 2011 prices in 70 markets, making up 18 percent of 384 metro areas, stabilized or increased slightly, and now national home prices are predicted to follow.

Despite the national recovery, home prices continue to decline in certain metros and a full recovery might take up to five years, Fiserv-Case Shiller indicates. Home values in Florida metro areas are expected to fare the worst of major US cities. In Orlando and Jacksonville prices are slated to fall an additional 6 percent between fourth-quarter 2011 and fourth-quarter 2012.

Nevertheless, there does appear to be a positive national trend in the housing market. “The recovery this spring and summer will be driven by investors, who buy primarily in lower-cost markets. In the current environment, focusing on mortgage applications is not a true indicator of sales activity, as investors are less likely to finance home purchases via mortgages,” said David Stiff, chief economist at Fiserv Case-Shiller. — Christopher Cameron