If you're not already overwhelmed by housing statisics, a new batch of reports adds to the growing confidence in the U.S. housing market.
Zillow's U.S. Home Value Index (HVI) for the second quarter rose to $161,100 as of the end of June, a 2.4-percent quarter-over-quarter increase and a 5.8-percent year-over-year gain. That leap was the largest annual increase since August 2006, the largest quarterly gain since the fourth quarter of 2005 and the second-largest quarterly gain since 2004. That's compared with a 0.25-percent increase during the first quarter.
Zillow's crystal ball says that over the next 12 months home values will rise another 5 percent with gains in 29 of the nation's 30 largest markets (New York was the exception).
Speaking of predictions, Fitch Ratings expects existing home sales to rise 7.5 percent this year and new home sales to rise 22 percent. Single-family housing starts will rise 18 percent, and multifamily starts (mostly rental apartments) are expected to increase a whopping 25 percent.
And last but not least, the U.S. Census Bureau said Wednesday morning that new home sales during June increased a healthy 8.3 percent from May compared with a 1. compared with a 1.3- percent from April to May. Early response from housing experts has been favorable, considering that mortgage rates have increased slightly. Some say that the threat of future increases is helping drive some of the recent demand we've seen.