Home prices rose 10.2% in February, compared with the same month a year ago. That was the largest monthly increase since March 2006, according to research firm CoreLogic Inc. (NYSE: CLGX). The firm had previously forecast a rise of 9.7%, equal to the index jump in January. The data include sales of distressed properties.
Month-over-month, February prices rose 0.5%, including distressed home sales. Excluding distressed sales, February prices rose 1.5% compared with January, and the year-over-year price also rose by 10.1%.
CoreLogic expects March housing prices to rise another 10.2% year-over-year and to rise by 1.2% month-over-month as the seasonal slowdown in home sales draws to a close and the summer selling season begins. Excluding distressed sales, CoreLogic’s year-over-year increase for March is forecast at 11.4% and the month-over-month estimate is forecast to rise by 2%.
The company’s CEO noted:
Home prices continued their march upward in February. Nationally, home prices improved at the best rate since mid-2006, marking a full year of annual increases and underscoring the ongoing strengthening of market fundamentals. Continued home price appreciation will provide fuel needed to drive further recovery in the home purchase market.
Including distressed sales, home prices rose the most in Nevada (prices up 19.3%), Arizona (18.6%), California (15.3%), Hawaii (14.6%) and Idaho (13.5%). Excluding distressed sales, the biggest gains were posted in Nevada (18.3%), Arizona (16.4%), Hawaii (15.5%), California (15.3%) and Idaho (15.3%).
Among the 100 largest U.S. cities, 96 showed a year-over-year increase in home prices. The largest gains (including distressed properties) came in the Phoenix area (up 20.8%), Los Angeles (14.5%), Riverside, Calif. (13.2%), Atlanta (12.4%) and New York City (9.7%).
The CoreLogic press release is available here.