Are Home Prices Rising? It All Depends On Who You Ask.

Southern Californians fighting to keep their homes may have noticed conflicting housing reports lately. Utilizing a home loan modification in Orange County or Los Angeles has been common. A rise in home prices would justify all the sacrifices some families have made. Optimistic forecasts would clearly be welcomed news for all borrowers. However, it all depends on whom you ask.

According to an AP story on Sept. 4, there is caHome Loan Modification in Los Angeles & Orange Countyuse to celebrate. Year over year prices in July jumped 3.8 percent. For the fifth straight month, prices trended upwards. July’s prices were 1.3 percent higher than in June. Western states such as Arizona, Idaho, Utah, South Dakota and Colorado were most prominent in the bounce.

New home sales as well as previously occupied sales were both improved. Builders were reportedly confident that the increased starts to new homes would continue. Perhaps most encouraging was that house prices rose due in part to a tight supply of available homes. All of this could encourage local borrowers to stay in their houses instead of walking away and, if necessary, seek out a loan modification attorney in Los Angeles.

However, over at CNBC, on the exact same day, a much more sobering story was published. Banks offered more modifications and short sales in 2011, helping to push up prices. The number of distressed homes on the market dropped, largely due to institutional investors swooping in for discounts on bulk sales. That being said, the year over year figures were misleading.

Homeowners who sought a Los Angeles or Orange County home loan modification would know that the value of homes plummeted in 2011. Putting owners further underwater, the S&P/Case Shiller national home price index was 5 percent lower in the second quarter of 2011 than the same time in 2010.

The government’s homebuyer tax credit primed the pump in 2009 and 2010. First time homebuyers were given an $8000 credit to be used as a large portion of their down payment. Sales jumped and home prices followed right along. The party had to end at some point though. Without the credit, sales in 2011 fell considerably.

So when using year over year figures, it’s important to temper expectations of a full blown housing recovery. While home median prices may be up 7 percent from a year ago, they are only up 4.6 percent from 2009.

The numbers are undoubtedly improving. Mortgage prices are also a full percentage lower than last summer, which should continue to stimulate sales. It’s important to keep these details in perspective though.  An abundance of looming foreclosures and the expansion of the rental market could have unforeseen effects as well.

If you are considering a home loan modification in Orange County or Los Angeles, newspaper headlines may not offer the best guidance. Opinions differ and change. Stories need to be sold. Seeking out an experienced loan modification attorney in Los Angeles may help better identify the most appropriate option. Oak Tree Law attorneys offer consistent insight. Their expertise includes a range of resources to help avoid foreclosure.