Just five cities are seeing bigger increases in median home prices than Nashville these days, according to the researchers at ZipRealty. Of that group, all but Chicago are in the far West. The value of Middle Tennessee's median home is up 13 percent year over year, more than four points higher than the national average — which is in the single digits for the first time in a year.
Look here, Nashville is at the top of another list.
Research firm RealtyTrac has updated its data on foreclosures around the country, and it turns out that Music City is the city where no fewer than 80 percent of foreclosed properties are still occupied by a former homeowner or tenant. Only Richmond, Va., comes close.
Nationally, foreclosures in March were down 23 percent from the year before.
"Banks will also now be able to devote more resources to dealing with the lingering inventory of nearly half a million already-foreclosed homes that still need to be sold," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. "Our estimates indicate only 10 percent of these bank-owned properties are listed for sale and more than half are still occupied by the former homeowner or tenant."
Real estate research firm CoreLogic says Nashville-area home prices in February were up 10.0 percent year over year, excluding distressed sales. That's down only a bit from January's number. Interestingly, excluding distressed sales pushed that price gain up to 10.4 percent. That suggests we've just about digested the last of the leftovers from the property bubble's bursting — and makes us think 2014 forecasts of very small price gains for local homeowners may soon prove to be too conservative.
Housing research firm CoreLogic says the foreclosure rate in the Nashville area dipped to 0.69 percent in January from 0.77 percent at the end of 2013.
It's the first time foreclosures have been that low since the last days of 2008, when the recession was really beginning to sink its teeth into homeowners' finances. The rate peaked at 1.99 percent in January 2011 and stood at 1.14 percent at the beginning of 2013.
CoreLogic says the 90-day delinquency rate among local homeowners, which peaked in early 2010 at about 6 percent, retreated to 3.52 percent in January, versus 3.60 percent in December and 4.49 percent the year before. The Nashville rate is now 109 basis points lower than Tennessee's and 141 points below that of the national average.
If you're concerned about the Middle Tennessee housing market running out of gas — February home sales were up only 4 percent year over year, after all — the researchers at Freddie Mac have a clear message: Not by a long shot.
The mortgage capital giant on Wednesday unveiled MiMi, its new Multi-Indicator Market Index that incorporates local data with proprietary numbers for a range of markets around the country. The metric places national, state and local housing activity on a scale relative to its healthy range, and its first data sets were for January.
"MiMi is the right housing index at the right time as we once again transition to a purchase-dominated housing market," said Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft. "With recent history demonstrating that housing activity differs substantially from market to market, MiMi offers a fresh perspective on housing at the local level just as we are entering this new purchase market landscape. MiMi helps to pinpoint each market's 'sweet spot' by focusing on local housing differences while also tracking the fundamentals necessary for a stable market."
Based on recent trends and as of early this year, Nashville was still a year away from getting to that range.
But we were among the top markets in the country. It's also worth noting that, of the cities above us, only top-rated San Antonio improved more in January than Nashville. And no market in the top 15 moved faster forward from November through January.
A number of real estate research firms have forecast in recent months that Nashville homeowners will see their home values rise very little in 2014 after a couple of very profitable years. But January's numbers don't show those predictions coming true just yet: CoreLogic says area home prices were up 11.1 percent year over year in January — up from 7.9 percent in December — even when distressed properties were included. Take out those homes and the price gains ticked up to 11.3 percent.
SEE ALSO: CoreLogic's national data
Negative equity in Nashville fell in the fourth quarter to 15.2 percent from 16.7 percent at the end of September, according to research firm Zillow. That's pretty good on a number of levels: It puts the city's MSA more than four points ahead of the U.S. average and it's more than a point below where Zillow's researchers thought we'd be by this fall. (The company now sees the negative equity rate falling to 14.4 percent by the end of 2014.)
Those headline numbers look good, but many homeowners in our 10-county area are still dealing with some real pain. Of those still underwater, almost 29 percent owe at least 40 percent more than their homes are worth.
The 90-day delinquency rate among Nashville-area homeowners finished 2013 at 3.59 percent versus 4.54 percent in 2012 and 5.59 percent at the end of 2011, says research firm CoreLogic. The 2013 decline for Middle Tennessee was steeper than that of Tennessee as a whole but slower than the country's improvement — although the U.S. rate ended the year just above 5 percent.
The region's foreclosure rate also dropped further last year, though more slowly than in 2012. It ended 2013 at 0.77 percent versus 1.14 percent and 1.76 percent at the end of 2012 and 2011, respectively.
Lastly, here's CoreLogic's latest map depicting the health of the region's ZIP codes.
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