Recent indications from housing market observers and researchers show that housing prices might have finally stabilized and turned positive on stronger sales.
But rising prices and home values don't necessarily translate into a stronger demand for credit union housing finance.
Analysts point to the June report from S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index as one indication of the market turnaround.
“With April 2012 data, we finally saw some rising home prices,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices in the late June announcement. “On a monthly basis, 19 of the 20 MSAs and both Composites rose in April over March. Detroit was the only city that saw prices fall, down 3.6%. In addition, 18 of the 20 MSAs and both Composites saw better annual rates of return.
“It has been a long time since we enjoyed such broad-based gains. While one month does not make a trend, particularly during seasonally strong buying months, the combination of rising positive monthly index levels and improving annual returns is a good sign.”
But analysts added that investors seeking lower-priced property to either rent or flip provided an important engine for the market improvement and since most of those investors purchase their property with cash, they don't necessarily apply for mortgage loans.
However, as the amount of foreclosed and distressed property diminishes, the housing finance market overall, including for credit unions, should continue to strengthen, they said.