Home prices rose 12.1% in April, compared with the same month a year ago, the largest monthly increase since February 2006, according to research firm CoreLogic Inc. (NYSE: CLGX). The firm had previously forecast a rise of 9.6% in April, equal to the index jumps in January and February. The data includes sales of distressed properties.
Month-over-month, April prices rose 3.2%, including distressed home sales. Excluding distressed sales April prices rose 3% compared with March, and the year-over-year price also rose by 13.2%.
CoreLogic expects May housing prices to rise another 12.5% year-over-year and to rise by 2.7% month-over-month. Excluding distressed sales, CoreLogic's year-over-year increase for May is forecast at 13.2% and the month-over-month estimate is forecast to rise by 3.1%.
The company's chief economist noted:
Increasing demand for new and existing homes, coupled with low inventory, has created a virtuous cycle for price gains, most clearly seen in the Western states with year-over-year gains of 20% or more.
Including distressed sales, home prices rose the most in Nevada (prices up 24.6%), California (19.4%), Arizona (17.3%), Hawaii (17%) and Oregon (15.5%). Excluding distressed sales the biggest gains were posted in Nevada (22.6%), California (18.3%), Idaho (16.4%), Arizona (15.3%) and Washington (13.9%).
Among the 100 largest U.S. cities, 94 showed a year-over-year increase in home prices. The largest gains (including distressed properties) came in the Phoenix and Los Angeles areas (up 19.2% in both), Atlanta and Riverside, California (16.5% in both), and Dallas (10.2%).
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