U.S. home prices increased 1.6% in March compared with February and increased 7.1% compared with March 2016, according to CoreLogic’s home price index report.
The firm notes that it revised its estimates for February.
As of the end of March, U.S. home prices were 2.8% within the peak set in June 2006. It should be noted that the report represents the average U.S. home price – home prices are increasing across most of the country, but pockets remain where home prices are far below the peak set in the pre-crisis years.
Currently, CoreLogic is forecasting that home prices will increase 0.6%, on average, between March and April and rise 4.9% from March 2017 to March 2018.
“With a forecasted increase of almost five percent over the next 12 months, the index is expected to reach the previous peak during the second half of this year,” says Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic, in a statement. “Prices in more than half the country have already surpassed their previous peaks, and almost 20 percent of metropolitan areas are now at their price peaks. Nationally, price growth has gradually accelerated over the past half-year, while rent growth for single-family rental homes has slowly decelerated over the same period, according to the CoreLogic Single-family Rental Index, recording a three percent rise over the year through March.”
“A potent mix of strong job gains, household formation, population growth and still-attractive mortgage rates in the face of tight inventories are fueling a continuing surge in home prices across the U.S.,” adds Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “Price gains were broad-based, with 90 percent of metropolitan areas posting year-over-year gains. Major metropolitan areas were especially hot, with CoreLogic data indicating that four of the largest 10 markets are now overvalued. Geographically, gains were strongest in the West, with Washington showing the highest appreciation at almost 13 percent, and Seattle, Tacoma and Bellingham posting gains of 13 to 14 percent.”