House prices rose 1.9% for Q1 2013, according to a Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) report (link opens as PDF) released today. These newest numbers mark the seventh straight seasonally adjusted quarterly increase in home purchase prices.
"The housing market has stabilized in many areas and homebuilding activity has strengthened in recent quarters," noted FHFA Principal Economist Andrew Leventis in a statement today. "That said, labor market weakness and still-elevated foreclosure pipelines remain hindrances to a more robust recovery."
Compared to Q1 2012, home prices are 6.7% higher. On a month-to-month basis, March's numbers came in 1.3% above February's, outstripping analysts' estimates of a 0.9% bump . Prices also grew a seasonally adjusted 1.4% for Q4 2012.
Although improving home prices are a potentially positive sign for the market, many housing analysts have pointed to a "supply squeeze" that could create trouble down the road.
Commenting on untapped potential in the existing-homes market, National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun stated yesterday, "The robust housing market recovery is occurring in spite of tight access to credit and limited inventory."
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