CoreLogic Home Price Index Surprises with 12.1 Percent Jump in April

by Peter Thomas Ricci

The CoreLogic Home Price Index surprised analysts with a stronger-than-expected, 12.1 percent hike in April, with even better numbers expected for May.


The CoreLogic Home Price Index exceeded expectations again in April, with home prices leaping 12.1 percent year-over-year and 3.2 percent from March to April.

That represents the 14th straight month of yearly increases for the Home Price Index, and the largest such increase since February 2006; furthermore, since March 2005, month-to-month gains have exceeded 2 percent just five times, and all five of those occurrences have taken place within the last year.

Mark Fleming, the chief economist of CoreLogic, said that even he was surprised by the strength of April’s numbers.

“House price growth continues to surprise to the upside, with an impressive 12.1 percent gain year over year in April,” Fleming said.

Home Price Index More Mixed at the Local Level

Though all 50 states showed yearly price growth for non-distressed sales, the situation was a bit more varied when distressed sales were factored into the equation.

For example, few, if any, metro areas better demonstrated that than Chicago, where home sales rose by just 2.8 percent from March 2012 when distressed sales were included, which was the lowest of all the major metropolitan areas sampled by CoreLogic. When distressed sales were excluded, however, the situation was much different, with Chicago’s home prices increasing by a hefty 8.9 percent year-over-year. Though that’s still a bit behind Los Angeles’ stunning 18.4 percent yearly increase, it’s still the best numbers Chicago has put up in some time.

Even the situation in Illinois seems to be showing signs of improvement. Although prices were only up 1.4 percent from last year’s levels, prices from March to April were more encouraging, rising 3.6 percent.

And we can probably expect similarly joyous numbers for May. Though the housing recovery is expected to increase housing inventory and slow home-price growth, the CoreLogic Pending HPI, which tracks MLS data to anticipate the next Home Price Index’s numbers, anticipates a 12.5 percent yearly increase for home prices in May; and as our infographic below demonstrates, that would be perfectly consistent with the last 13 months of home price growth.

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