Housing data was plentiful today with both good news and not so good news. Home prices continue to move higher as evidenced by the 12.2% year-over-year gain in the Case/Shiller 20-city Composite Home Price Index. It was the biggest annual gain since March of 2006. From April to May, prices rose 2.4% for the 20-city index.
Over in the foreclosure front, Corelogic reports that completed foreclosures dropped by nearly 20% from June of 2012 (68,000) to June of 2013 (55,000). The 55,000 in June was slightly higher than the 53,000 recorded in May. Since the beginning of this year, foreclosure inventories have declined by 14%. A completed foreclosure occurs when a property is auctioned and results in the purchase of the home at auction by either a third party, such as an investor, or by the lender.
The homeownership rate in the U.S. has now fallen back to levels not seen in two decades and is well below its record high of 69.2% hit back in 2004, currently at 65.1%. During the recent housing crisis, more than 7 million Americans were ripped from their homes after the bubble burst and busted. The rate is expected to fall to 64% due to foreclosures as people enter the rental markets.