Real Estate

Upbeat buyers push prices higher: Clear Capital

Spring home buying activity picked up in May with home prices growing 1.3% over the previous quarter and soaring 8.2% annually, Clear Capital said Tuesday.

The yearly and quarterly gains are the result of market momentum and a low price floor, the data firm added.

“May home price trends confirm the recovery continues to mature,” said Dr. Alex Villacorta, vice president of research and analytics at Clear Capital.

He added, “While there’s no questioning the validity of the recovery at this point, performances at the local level remained mixed when considering strength, sustainability and relative positions to 2006 prices.”

At the metropolitan level, price trends remained mixed, a reminder that the recovery is locally driven.

Las Vegas takes the lead in the home value recovery, with yearly price gains of 27%. Phoenix, on the other hand, saw gains of 25.7%, putting Vegas ahead of the Arizona metro area for the first time since April 2012.

“Las Vegas’ strong yearly gains represent a rebound from a severe correction rather than bubble-like price growth. Despite 27% yearly growth, this market remains 53% below peak levels, significantly more depressed than most markets,” Villacorta stated.

While Las Vegas yearly gains continue to pick up steam, the market has a long road ahead of it. 

For instance, current prices remain 57.1% below the peak and need to climb another staggering 133.3% to reach peak values.

Additionally, it would take La Vegas home prices nearly four years at the current annual growth rate of 27% to get back to 2006 levels.

On the other hand, Phoenix has seen a slight moderating pattern during the past several months, a healthy trend for the market.

However, prices are still 45.9% below their peak in Phoenix.

“In general, current gains are expected to moderate over the near term,” Villacorta said.

He concluded, “Certainly the expectation for moderation is less flashy than home prices racing their way back to pre-crisis levels.” 

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