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CoreLogic: U.S. home-price gains hit all-time high in March

Prices jumped by 20.9% in March year over year, but are projected to decline sharply over the next year

U.S. home prices in March climbed a record 20.9% year over year, but the explosive pace of appreciation is expected to cool down to the single digits by the same time next year.

The jump in March marks the 122nd consecutive month that the annual housing-price measure has increased, according to CoreLogic‘s recent national Home Price Index report. Mounting mortgage rates and home prices are creating increasing affordability pressures for some prospective buyers. 

“The annual growth in the U.S. index was the largest we have measured in the 45-year history of the CoreLogic Home Price Index,” Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic, said in a statement. “In April, 30-year fixed mortgage rates averaged nearly 2 percentage points higher than one year earlier. 

“With the growth in home prices, that means the monthly principal and interest payment to buy the median-priced home was up about 50% in April [2022] compared with last April.”

As of April 21, the payment-to-income ratio for homeowners was 32.5%, just 1.6 percentage points shy of the record of 34.1% in July 2006, according to Black Knight’s latest monthly Mortgage Monitor report. Black Knight forecasts that a 5% increase in home prices would push affordability to its worst level on record. Housing prices are up 5.9% since the start of the year. 

Buyers who closed on a property in March had a good chance of locking in mortgage rates at around 4%. By late April, rates had climbed past 5% — and were up by more than 200 basis points from the same period last year. That trend might derail more prospective buyers, CoreLogic noted. 

Interest rates hit 5.10% last week, compared with 2.98% a year ago, according to Freddie Mac PMMS. Black Knight’s Optimal Blue OBMMI pricing engine, which considers refinancings and additional data from the Mortgage Bankers Association, measured the 30-year conforming mortgage rate at 5.317% last week. 

Florida led all states in home-price gains, up 31.4% in March 2022, compared with the same period last year, according to the CoreLogic report. Arizona ranked second, at 28.7%. New York and Washington, D.C., metro areas were at the lower end of the price-growth spectrum, each posting gains of 9.9% year over year. 

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