In September, home prices improved in nearly all of the largest counties throughout the United States as tracked by ""DataQuick"":http://www.dataquick.com/.[IMAGE]
According to the company's new Property Intelligence Report (PIR), home prices grew in 40 out of 42 counties month-over-month, while prices improved in all 42 counties from the previous quarter and over the last year.
DataQuick suggested the PIR is displaying evidence the recovery in housing is underway, but the PIR found an uneven recovery, with some areas facing risk factors, such as high REO inventory.
Gordon Crawford, VP of analytics for DataQuick, highlighted changes in Maricopa County, where house price growth was the highest on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis. From September 2011 to September 2012, prices in Maricopa County grew 20.23 percent.[COLUMN_BREAK]
However, Crawford noted the growth may not be sustainable when looking at other factors.
""It's unlikely that this rapid growth can continue as foreclosure and sales trends do not support continued increases,"" said Crawford.
Sales were down in the county, falling 8.07 percent quarter-over-quarter and by 4.84 percent since September 2011.
If a backlog of foreclosures floods the market as some have anticipated and the increase in prices encourages would-be sellers to list their properties, home price growth will be dampened, DataQuick explained.
Sales increased in 19 of the 42 reported counties over the last month and improved in 30 of the 42 reported counties over the last quarter. Year-over-year, sales were up in 35 of the 42 counties.
Although prices fell 0.2 percent in Fulton County, Georgia, from August, sales grew 44.79 percent during the same period. Despite a typical seasonal decline for sales in September, some counties showed strong monthly, quarterly, and yearly growth in sales, including Orange County in California, St. Louis County in Missouri, Shelby County in Tennessee, and Multnomah County in Oregon.
While having data on a county level offers a closer look at housing trends across the country, Crawford added that having data on a zip code level is very helpful for making investment decisions due to variations in different neighborhoods.