Home Prices Surged 9.7% In January, The Highest Annual Increase In Almost 7 Years

 |  Includes: ITB, IYR, REZ, XHB
by: Mark J. Perry

CoreLogic reported today that its repeat-sales Home Price Index (HPI), based on sale prices for the same homes over time, posted a 9.7% year-over-year gain in January (including distressed sales). This was the largest annual increase in home prices nationwide in almost seven years, going back to April 2006 (see chart below).

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The January gain was the 11th consecutive monthly increase in national home prices on a year-over-year basis starting in March of last year. The last time there were 11 back-to-back monthly increases in year-over-year home prices was in 2006. Excluding distressed sales, CoreLogic reported that national home prices increased annually by 9.0% in January.

At the state level, there were six states that experienced double-digit gains in January home prices (including distressed sales): Arizona (20.1%), Nevada (17.4%), Idaho (14.9%), California (14.1%), Hawaii (10.7%), and Utah (10.1%). Looking forward one month, the CoreLogic Pending Home Price Index predicts that home prices in February will match January's gain, with another 9.7% increase in the HPI on an annual basis.

Comments From CoreLogic

Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic:

The HPI showed strong growth during the typically slow winter season. With these gains the housing market is poised to enter the spring selling season on sound footing. The improvements are materializing across the country, with all but Delaware and Illinois showing increasing HPI and 15 states within 10% of their peak values.

Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic:

Home prices continued to gather steam across a broad swath of the country in January, continuing the positive trend we saw during most of 2012. Many states across the western U.S. and along the East Coast saw average price gains of more than 6%, which is likely to boost home sale activity into the first half of 2013.