U.S. property values went into spring continuing the growth trend that started a year ago, according to ""FNC's"":http://www.fncinc.com/ Residential Price Index (RPI) for February.[IMAGE]
The index, based on recorded sales of non-distressed properties (both new and existing homes) in the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), recorded a 28-month high after rising for 12 consecutive months. For the 12 months through February, the index was up 6.1 percent--its fastest acceleration since July 2006. Month-over-month, the index was up 0.2 percent.
The two narrower composite indices also showed small month-over-month price increases: 0.3 percent for the 30-MSA index and 0.2 percent for the 10-MSA index. On a yearly basis, they increased 7.4 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively.
Eighteen of the component markets tracked for the 30-MSA composite index posted higher prices in February, with Phoenix and Las Vegas showing the greatest momentum (1.9 percent growth in each). Year-over-year, all 30 component markets reported price gains, though the degree of recovery remains inconsistent, with many hard-hit markets coming back stronger.
In other findings, the median sales-to-list price ratio was 95.0 in February, up from 93.8 in January and 90.3 a year ago.
Despite rising prices, supply remains limited as foreclosure activities continue to decline, FNC reported. Meanwhile, supply from potential trade-up buyers remains constrained by current prices, which are still too low to allow many existing homeowners to take advantage of equity appreciation.