U.S. Home-Price Growth Accelerated in March

The Case-Shiller index, which measures average home prices in major metropolitan areas across the nation, rose 4.4% on an annual basis in March, the highest rate since December 2018. The post U.S. Home-Price Growth Accelerated in March appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

U.S. Home-Price Growth Accelerated in March

Home-price growth accelerated in March, even as home sales dropped after the coronavirus pandemic shut down economic activity in some regions.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, which measures average home prices in major metropolitan areas across the nation, rose 4.4% in the year that ended in March, up from a 4.2% annual rate the prior month. March marked the highest annual growth rate since December 2018.

Sales of previously owned homes, which make up the bulk of the housing market, fell 8.5% in March from the prior month as the pandemic kept buyers and sellers on the sidelines, according to the National Association of Realtors.

But a decline in home sales hasn’t corresponded with lower home prices so far this spring. Many sellers took their homes off the market once the pandemic struck or opted to wait to sell, reducing the number of available houses for sale. The stimulus bill passed in March also enabled many homeowners to suspend mortgage payments if needed, reducing the risk of foreclosures or distressed sales.

The data, which was released Tuesday, is based on transactions closed during March, which typically reflect purchase decisions made in February or January.

“Housing prices continue to be remarkably stable,” said Craig Lazzara, managing director and global head of index investment strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices, in a statement. “As much of the U.S. economy remained shuttered in April, next month’s data may show a more noticeable impact” from the pandemic.

U.S. existing-home sales dropped 17.8% in April, the biggest monthly decline since July 2010, according to NAR.

The Case-Shiller 10-city index gained 3.4% over the year ended in March, up from a 3% annual change in February. The 20-city index rose 3.9%, after an annual gain of 3.5% in February.

The 20-city index only measured 19 cities this month due to transaction reporting delays in Wayne County, Mich., according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. Price growth accelerated in 17 of the 19 cities.

Phoenix had the fastest home-price growth in the country, at 8.2%, followed by Seattle at 6.9%.

A separate measure of home-price growth by the Federal Housing Finance Agency released Tuesday found a 5.9% increase in home prices in March from a year earlier.

The post U.S. Home-Price Growth Accelerated in March appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Source : Realtor More   

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‘Virtual hearings for duty possession cases are not workable’

The court system that landlords rely on to evict tenants faces extreme challenges as one- by-one County Courts announce plans to hold possession hearings virtually until at least the Autumn, says The Law Society. The Law Society has questioned the wisdom of using ‘virtual hearings’ for possessions cases as the court system gets ready to […] ©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - ‘Virtual hearings for duty possession cases are not workable’ | LandlordZONE.

‘Virtual hearings for duty possession cases are not workable’

The court system that landlords rely on to evict tenants faces extreme challenges as one- by-one County Courts announce plans to hold possession hearings virtually until at least the Autumn, says The Law Society.

The Law Society has questioned the wisdom of using ‘virtual hearings’ for possessions cases as the court system gets ready to re-start evictions on 25th June.

In an article published on its in-house website, the professional body for solicitors in England and Wales says it is concerned that plans to hear cases online or via telephone will exclude the normal system of duty solicitors being made available to tenants, and face-to-face horse trading prior to hearings.

Three London courts – Brentwood, Edmonton and Barnet – have all revealed that they are gearing up their processes to handle virtual hearings after the 29th June, with more expected to follow in the coming days and weeks.

Pre-coronavirus, both tenants, landlords and legal representatives could haggle together before a hearing and often reach an agreement, but the use of virtual viewings means this will be much harder to achieve, and that tenants will have less opportunity to take up or be offered legal aid assistance.

The Law Society quotes one solicitor, Sue James of the Hammersmith & Fulham Law Centre, who claims that because a duty solicitor is an essential component in achieve proper access to justice for those losing their home, taking away this service will lead to more evictions and that the whole system will become unworkable.

“Clients facing possession proceedings often have welfare benefit problems which means they are on very low incomes” she says.

“They may also lack computers to access the court remotely or to have data or credit on their phones. Remote hearings for duty possession cases are not workable.”

©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - ‘Virtual hearings for duty possession cases are not workable’ | LandlordZONE.

Source : Landlord Zone More   

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