JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – December 5, 2011 – Lender Processing Services, Inc. (NYSE: LPS), a leading provider of mortgage and real estate technology, data and analytics, today announced that its LPS Applied Analytics division updated its home price index (LPS HPI) with residential sales concluded during September 2011. The LPS HPI summarizes home price trends nationwide by tracking sales each month in more than 13,500 ZIP codes. Within each ZIP code, the LPS HPI tracks five price levels from low to high.
“Home prices in September were consistent with the seasonal pattern that has been occurring since 2009,” explained Kyle Lundstedt, managing director for LPS Applied Analytics. “Each year, prices have risen in the spring, but revert in autumn to a downward trend that has not only erased the gains, but has led to an average 3.7 percent annual drop in prices to date. The partial data available for October suggests a further approximate decline of 1.1 percent. Partial data from last month proved to be a good indicator for September's performance: it showed a preliminary 1.1 percent estimated decline, compared to the 1.2 percent as shown by the full-month’s data.”
The LPS HPI national average home price for transactions during September was $202,000 – a decline of 1.2 percent for the month. As in previous years, this decline follows a 0.9 percent decline during August (Figure 1). The September national average price is down 1.8 percent from the average price at the beginning of the year (Table 1).
LPS HPI average national home prices continue the downward trend begun after the market peak in June 2006, when the total value of U.S. housing inventory covered by the LPS HPI stood at $10.6 trillion. The value has declined 30.2 percent since that peak to $7.56 trillion.
During the period of most rapid price declines, from June 2007 through December 2008, the LPS HPI national average home price dropped $56,000 from $282,000, which corresponds to an average annual decline of 13.8 percent. Since December 2008, prices have fallen more slowly, interrupted by brief seasonal intervals of rising prices. During this period of more slowly declining prices, the national average price has fallen approximately $24,000 from $226,000. This corresponds to an average annual decline of 3.7 percent (Figure 1). The national average home price has declined 4.4 percent over the most recent year to September 2011 (Table 1).
Price changes were consistent across the country during September, declining in all ZIP codes in the LPS HPI (Figure 2). Higher-priced homes had somewhat smaller declines: -1.2% percent for the top 20 percent of homes (prices above $317,000), compared to -1.4 percent for the bottom 20 percent (below $102,000).
Figure 1 Prices have fallen since autumn 2008 with brief interruptions each spring. Except for February of this year, prices have not been at the current level since January 2003.
Price changes during September were consistent among all statistical areas (MSAs) in all states. Average prices declined together for the 437 MSAs covered by the LPS HPI. Furthermore, all five price levels in the LPS HPI also decreased for all MSAs. In particular, average prices declined during September in all of the 26 largest MSAs that both the LPS HPI and Bureau of Labor Statistics economic data cover (Table 1).
Compared to the beginning of the year, average home price changes in the largest 26 MSAs have been nearly evenly split between declines and increases, with 12 of the MSAs having price increases (Table 1). The largest declines have been in Atlanta and Phoenix. The largest increases have occurred in Detroit, Minneapolis, and Pittsburgh. Over the past year, however, only four of the largest MSAs – Detroit, Honolulu, Miami, and Pittsburgh – have seen average home prices increase (Table 1).
Figure 2 During September, prices increased for a negligible number of the price-location pairs in the LPS HPI.
Table 1 shows the dates of the local market peaks for each of the largest 26 MSAs. Since its local market peak, Pittsburgh is the only MSA that, with seasonal variations, has seen its average price rise continuously since January 2005 (Table 1). Its most recent peak price occurred in July of this year. As of the end of September, four MSAs have average home prices below what they were at the end of January 2000; Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, and Phoenix (Table 1).
Among all of the MSAs that the LPS HPI covers, the best performers during September were mostly in New York. ‘Best’ is a relative term, for September particularly; the best-performing MSAs had relatively modest declines – less than 0.5 percent. Most of the MSAs in this group were in upstate New York, with a few in Michigan, and one, Pittsfield, in Massachusetts.
A majority of the worst-performing MSAs during September were in California or nearby Arizona and Nevada, all of which had prices drop a little less than 2 percent. The remaining worst-performing MSAs were in Colorado, Connecticut, and Georgia. The largest MSA in this group was Los Angeles.
Table 1 Summary of home price histories for the nation and the 26 largest MSAs covered by both LPS and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, sorted by average home price as of September 2011 (right column). Small graphs show prices for each MSA from January 2005 through September 2011. The dates of the peaks in the local markets are indicated below the MSA names. Column labels indicate dates for prices and changes to date.
About the LPS Home Price Index
The LPS HPI is one of the most complete and accurate home price sources available. It summarizes sales concluded during each month using a repeat sales analysis of home prices as of the transaction dates. Each month, the LPS HPI reports five price levels in each of more than 13,500 U.S. ZIP codes. Five price levels are also reported at the national and state levels and for 437 of the statistical areas defined by the White House Office of Management and Budget; including all 29 of the Metropolitan Divisions and their 11 MSA “parents.” The five historical paths of price levels can be easily used to find price paths of intermediate prices. The LPS HPI also supplies REO discount rates for each ZIP code, which are used in the HPI calculations to correct for the impact on estimates of open-market prices that REO sale prices would have.
By combining property and loan data in its repeat sales analysis, the LPS HPI covers about 75 percent of single-family residential properties in the U.S. The innovative approach used to maximize geographical resolution enables the LPS HPI to meaningfully cover about 98 percent of these properties at the ZIP-code level.
The LPS HPI provides the financial industry with the most accurately timed home-price information available – detecting market changes sooner than other HPIs – with valuation accuracies competitive with AVMs in out-of-sample tests.
About Lender Processing Services
Lender Processing Services, Inc. (LPS) is a leading provider of integrated technology, services, and mortgage performance data and analytics to the mortgage and real estate industries. LPS offers solutions that span the mortgage continuum, including lead generation, origination, servicing, workflow automation (Desktop®), portfolio retention and default, augmented by the company's award-winning customer support and professional services. Approximately 50 percent of all U.S. mortgages by dollar volume are serviced using LPS' loan servicing platform, MSP. LPS also offers proprietary mortgage and real estate data and analytics for the mortgage and capital markets industries. For more information about LPS, visit www.lpsvcs.com