WASHINGTON (4/2/14)--Home prices in February came in strong, according to the CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI) released Tuesday, revealing a 12.2% increase in prices compared with the prior year, and a 0.8% jump from January numbers.
Without distressed sales in the mix, home prices still showed marked improvement from last year, as prices jumped 10.7% nationally and 0.9% in February from January.
CoreLogic expects home prices will rise 10.5% higher in March compared with March 2013 prices as well, with a monthly increase of 0.5% from February to March.
"As the spring home-buying season kicks off, house price appreciation continues to be strong," said CoreLogic Chief Economist Mark Fleming. "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."
Fourteen states experienced double-digit, year-over-year growth for February compared with 2013, with Colorado, Nebraska, North Dakota, Texas and the District of Columbia all surpassing new home price highs. Further, 22 states came within 10% of their own price peaks, according to CoreLogic.
No state witnessed home-price depreciation in February.
Analysts at Moody's attribute the stronger home prices to looser credit market conditions, the fact that the demand for housing is still outgaining construction, and a reduction in average household debt, among other factors (Economy.com April 1).
Though, because the availability of rental units is likely to grow substantially in the coming months because of the forecasted surge in construction--leading to less single-family homes being placed on a diluted rental market--analysts expect price growth to flatten after this year.