Thursday, December 8, 2016

Home prices trend upward

Here is a line graph showing what the price of a $125,000 home in the Idaho Falls area would have done over the last 15 years. After peaking in the first half of 2008, the number slid in mid-2011 and bobbed for a few years, until mid-2014, when it started to climb again.
What a difference 15 years make, although it doesn’t always feel that way.

For lack of any real news breaking today, we decided to go back to our old friend, the Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Calculator. This is the Web page where you can plug in your numbers and see how home prices have trended in your market.

Arbitrarily, we decided to see what a hypothetical property valued at $125,000 in the third quarter of 2001 would be estimated worth today. The results for all the markets we looked at are good, some really good. Here’s a breakdown.

Idaho Falls: $185,996  +48.7%
Pocatello: $185,252  +48.2%
Boise: $220,150  +76.1%
Reno: $209,754  +67.8%
Las Vegas: $181,459  +45.1%
Seattle: $251,652  +101.3%
Phoenix: $220,705 +76.5%

What’s interesting to look at is the volatility over the past 15 years. There's no question things bottomed out for everyone in 2011. In Las Vegas, your $125k from 10 years earlier would be $95,592 in the Q4 of 2011. In Idaho Falls, on the other hand, the line dipped but never below where it started. But the figure from Q3 of this year is still below the all-time high of Q3 2008, when it peaked at $187,961.

Here's a graph for Boise. Note that Joe Homeowner was underwater from Q1 2011 to Q2 2012, but recovery has been strong since then. 

Go ahead and try your house, but remember these are just numbers. Your house is only going to be worth what someone is willing to pay for it. What the HPI Calculator projects is what a given house purchased at a point in time would be worth today if it appreciated at the average appreciation rate of all homes in the area. The actual value of any house will depend on the neighborhood, house condition and age, home improvements made and needed, and many other factors. Consult a qualified real estate appraiser in your area to obtain a professional estimate of the current value of your home. Title XI of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 requires that any appraisal used in connection with a federally related transaction must be performed by a competent individual whose professional conduct is subject to supervision and regulation. Appraisers must be licensed or certified according to state law.

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