April Home Price Increases Remain Moderate

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U.S. home prices rose 3.6% in April, compared with the same month a year ago, according to data from CoreLogic released Tuesday in the firm’s Home Price Insights monthly report. The data includes sales of distressed properties.

Home prices rose 1% month over month in April. On a year-over-year basis, the index has increased every month since March 2012 and is up just over 60% since bottoming out in March 2011.

CoreLogic forecasts housing prices to rise by 4.7% year over year in April 2020 and to drop by 0.3% month over month in April of next year.

As of March 2019, home prices are now about 7.7% higher than they were at the April 2006 pre-crash peak. Adjusted for inflation, however, home prices remain about 12.2% below the peak.

CEO Frank Martell noted:

According to our consumer research, buyers feel that high prices are forcing them to spend more than they’d expect on a home. As many as one-third of buyers admit they put down a higher down payment as well.

CoreLogic chief economist Frank Nothaft added:

The pickup in sales between March and April, has helped to counter the recent slowing in annual home-price growth. Mortgage rates are 0.6 percentage points below what they were one year ago and incomes are up, which has improved affordability for buyers. However, price growth has remained the highest for lower-priced homes, constraining housing choices for first-time buyers.

Including distressed sales, home prices rose the most year over year in Idaho (10.3%), Utah (7.8%) and South Dakota (7.8%). Home prices rose in every state except North Dakota and Connecticut.

Through April, 37% of the top 100 metropolitan areas were overvalued, 26% were undervalued and 37% were at value. In just the top 50 markets based on housing stock, 42% were overvalued, 16% were undervalued and 42% were at value. CoreLogic defines an overvalued housing market as one in which home prices are at least 10% higher than the long-term, sustainable level, while an undervalued housing market is one in which home prices are at least 10% below the sustainable level.

Among U.S. metro areas, Las Vegas has posted the largest year-over-year index change, up 7.6%. Denver is up 3.8%, with Houston (up 3.4%); Washington, D.C. (up 3.4%); and Boston and Los Angeles (up 2.3%) rounding out the top five.

See CoreLogic’s April report for more detail.

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