Housing Markets Hit Highest Prices in Nearly 40 Years

The housing market continues to make solid strides in its recovery nationwide, with some states experiencing growth above and beyond their historic peaks, according to a new analysis.

Home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, rose 5.9% in March 2015 compared to the same month in 2014, representing 37 months of consecutive year-over-year increases in home prices nationally, says the latest CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI). On a monthly basis, national home prices rose by 2% in March compared with February.

Including distressed sales in March, 27 states plus the District of Columbia were either at or within 10% of their peak prices. Furthermore, seven states including Colorado, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming achieved new home price gains since January 1976, when the CoreLogic HPI started.

States with the highest price growth in March included Colorado (9.2%), South Carolina (9.1%), Kansas (8%), Texas (8%) and Nevada (7.6%). 

“The homes for sale inventory continues to be limited while buyer demand has picked up with low mortgage rates and improving consumer confidence,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic, in a written statement.

As a result, Nothaft notes, there has been continued upward pressure on prices in most markets, with CoreLogic’s national monthly index up 2% in March and approximately 6% up from a year ago.

Looking broadly at the national housing market’s progress, price gains in March appeared to have been driven by 90 of the top 100 Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) showing year-over-year increases during the month. 

The 10 CBSAs that showed the largest year-over-year declines were mostly located out East. With the exception of New Orleans-Metairie, LA, the rest included Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD; Philadelphia, PA; Camden, NJ; Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT; Rochester, NY; Worcester, MA-CT; Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY; New Haven-Milford, CT and Wilmington, DE-MD-NJ. 

Despite the decline in prices witnessed in those select markets, the strong monthly gains in March may be a harbinger of accelerating price appreciation as the spring selling season is now upon us, says CoreLogic CEO Anand Nallathambi. 

“All signs are pointing toward continued price appreciation throughout 2015,” Nallathambi said in a written statement. “Tight inventories, job growth and the inexorable impact of demographics and household formation are pushing price levels in many states, and especially large metropolitan areas like Dallas, Denver, Houston, Seattle and San Francisco, toward record levels.”

Looking ahead, the CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates that home prices, including distressed sales, are projected to increase by 0.8% month-over-month from March to April 2015, and on a year-over-year basis by 5.1% come March 2016.

Written by Jason Oliva

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