Home prices rose a robust 8.3 percent year-over-year in December according to the latest CoreLogic Home Price Index.
That’s the biggest increase since May 2006 and the 10th consecutive monthly increase for the Home Price Index; additionally, prices increased from November to December by 0.4 percent, belying typical seasonal trends, though distressed sales continued to impact prices in Illinois, where they fell 2.7 percent from December 2011.
CoreLogic Home Price Index Posting Strong Increases
Mark Fleming, CoreLogic’s chief economist, said that he expects December’s price gains to continue into January.
“December marked 10 consecutive months of year-over-year home price improvements, and the strongest growth since the height of the last housing boom more than six years ago,” Fleming said. “We expect price growth to continue in January as our Pending HPI shows strong year-over-year appreciation.”
And the Pending HPI, which CoreLogic uses to anticipate next month’s Home Price Index, does anticipate good things for January, including a 7.9 percent year-over-year increase for home prices and, when distressed sales are excluded, a 0.7 percent monthly increase from December to January (though including distressed sales, it does expect a 1 percent decline).
Home Price Increases to Continue Into 2013?
Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic, echoed the sentiments of fellow analysts with his hopeful projections for 2013.
“We are heading into 2013 with home prices on the rebound,” Nallathambi said. “The upward trend in home prices in 2012 was broad based with 46 of 50 states registering gains for the year. All signals point to a continued improvement in the fundamentals underpinning the U.S. housing market recovery.”
Pat Cesario, a broker with Gagliardo Realty Associates in River Forest, said that he has seen some movement in prices in the last couple months, along with stronger-than-usual interest from prospective homebuyers. Those qualities, Cesario said, do give him optimism for the spring homebuying season.
“I think there will be a good spring – it’s been steady since January,” he said. “So it is picking up.”
And indeed, recent data does suggest that purchase activity is on the rise; a recent survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association found that purchase activity is at its highest level since 2010.