Home values nationwide rose for the 16th straight month in February, according to new data from Seattle-based Zillow.
U.S. home values rose 0.1% in February compared with January and were up 5.8% year-over-year. The year-over-year gain is the second largest since August 2006, exceeded only by January's 6% year-over-year jump. Zillow says the last time national home values were at this level was in June 2004.
Zillow expects home values to rise 3.2% in the 12-month period from February 2013 through February 2014. Although this is below the 5.6% annual rate of appreciation recorded in 2012, Zillow says home value appreciation will slow closer to historic norms of between 3% and 5% in coming years.
Of the 30 largest metro areas covered by Zillow, markets where home values increased the most over February 2012 included Phoenix (22.9%), San Francisco (18.6%), Las Vegas (18.1%), San Jose, Calif. (17.1%) and Sacramento, Calif. (15.3%). Only 73 of the 352 total metro markets covered by Zillow experienced year-over-year home value declines in February.
‘The housing market recovery has continued to gain momentum over the past several months and looks firmly entrenched as we enter the 2013 spring home shopping season,’ says Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries. ‘We expect that rising home values will continue to help cure many of the ills still facing the housing market, including high levels of negative equity. Rising home values will free many more homeowners from negative equity, allowing some of them to list their homes for sale which, in turn, will ease supply constraints."
Separately, Zillow reports that national rents rose 0.1% in February compared with January. Year-over-year, national rents were up 4.5% in February.