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Home Sales Soar, Consumer Confidence Returns—Multiple Offers and Demand for Advice Powers REALTORS’® Value

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All 20 cities showed increases on an annual basis for at least three consecutive months. Atlanta, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Tampa all posted double-digit annual returns. Las Vegas, Phoenix and San Francisco were the three MSAs to increase over 20 percent in March 2013 over March 2012.

In recent weeks the chorus of concern about the recovery and the possibility that it was creating a bubble has grown, especially as prices zoomed in Northern California markets like Sacramento and Stockton.

Do we have a bubble building here? Realogy’s Chairman Smith assured, “We’re back to about 40-50 percent of pricing pre-2005 so it’s unlikely that we’re anywhere near a bubble. But look at it in this context,” he said. “The lending and underwriting standards in ’05 were abysmal. That’s why we have this problem today. Lending and underwriting standards today are extremely tight. So the likelihood of a whole class of people defaulting on loans going forward clearly isn’t going to happen. Look at Fannie (Mae) and Freddy’s (Mac) profits thus far. They’re underwriting is pristine. They’re credit risk is pristine. So the likelihood of that bubble being created because of underwriting is very unlikely.”

Watch RISMedia this week for further reporting on the housing uptick.

Associate Editor Zoe Eisenberg and Online Managing Editor Beth McGuire contributed to this report.

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