Tuesday, March 5, 2013

U.S. home prices jump nearly 10 percent in January

U.S. home prices rose 9.7 percent in January compared to the same time last year, the biggest increase since April 2006, according to the latest report by CoreLogic, a real estate analytics firm.

The change marks the 11th consecutive monthly increase in home prices nationally.

On a monthly basis, U.S. home prices rose by 0.7 percent in January compared to December.

CoreLogic's Home Price Index shows all but two states, Delaware and Illinois, are experiencing year-over-year price gains.

Home prices in South Carolina rose 7 percent in January compared to the previous year. North Carolina home prices, meanwhile, rose a more modest 3.1 percent during the same time.

The figures include distressed sales, such as foreclosures.

Excluding distressed sales, U.S. home prices increased on a year-over-year basis by 9.0 percent in January compared to a year earlier.

CoreLogic expects to see February home prices rise by 9.7 percent from a year ago and fall by 0.3 percent on a monthly basis from January, reflecting a seasonal winter slowdown.

“The (index) showed strong growth during the typically slow winter season,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “With these gains, the housing market is poised to enter the spring selling season on sound footing.”

Other highlights from the report:

• Including distressed sales, the five states with the highest home price appreciation were: Arizona (+20.1 percent), Nevada (+17.4 percent), Idaho (+14.9 percent), California (+14.1 percent) and Hawaii (+14.0 percent).

• Including distressed transactions, the peak-to-current change in the national home price index (from April 2006 to January 2013) was -26.4 percent. Excluding distressed transactions, the peak-to-current change in the index for the same period was -19.9 percent.

•The five states with the largest peak-to-current declines, including distressed transactions, were Nevada (-51.6 percent), Florida (-43.0 percent), Arizona (-38.9 percent), Michigan (-37.4 percent) and Rhode Island (-35.5 percent).