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Home Prices Up 12.2% in February; Smaller Gains Predicted

CoreLogic reported another double-digit year-over-year improvement in its Home Price Index (HPI) in February, marking two straight years of annual increases in home prices.

According to the company, home prices nationwide rose 12.2 percent (including distressed sales) in February compared to the year prior. The change represents 24 months of consecutive yearly gains.

On a monthly basis, home prices inched up 0.8 percent from January’s revised index.

At the local level, 14 states experienced double-digit year-over-year growth, led by California (19.8 percent), Nevada (18.5 percent), Georgia (14.2 percent), Oregon (13.8 percent), and Michigan (13.5 percent). Meanwhile, Colorado, Nebraska, North Dakota, Texas, and the District of Columbia all topped their previous home price highs, with another 22 states approaching their own peaks.

“As the spring home-buying season kicks off, house price appreciation continues to be strong,” said Dr. Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Although prices should remain strong in the near term due to a short supply of homes on the market, price increases should moderate over the next year as home equity releases pent-up supply.”

Moving forward, CoreLogic says indicators point to slower increases. For March, the company’s Pending HPI predicts prices will bump up another 0.5 percent month-over-month and 10.5 percent year-over-year.

While consumer sentiment measures suggest Americans have grown skittish about the slowdown in home price improvements, CoreLogic’s president and CEO, Anand Nallathambi, says we’re still headed in the right direction: “The consistent upward movement in home prices should ultimately prove to be an important stimulant for higher levels of sustained market activity and growth in the housing economy.”

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