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Risk of price declines falls in most markets

Real estate agents share views on price trends

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The risk of price declines continues to intensify in markets where prices shot up the most during the boom, but is falling in most other markets, according to an analysis by PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. PMI said the risk of price declines fell during the first quarter in 326 of the 381 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) tracked, or 86 percent. Of the 55 markets where PMI gauged the risk of price declines had increased, all but five were in California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona. PMI's U.S. Market Risk Index is based on home-price data, labor market statistics, housing affordability, household income, past trends in price appreciation, and mortgage rates. The index generates a score estimating the chance that home prices will be lower in two years. PMI projects a 40 percent or greater chance that prices will fall in 16 of the 50 largest MSAs during the next two years. All but three of those markets -- Las Vegas, Phoenix and Providence, R.I. -- are in California and Flor...