CoreLogic: March Home Prices at 7.1% Clip

CoreLogic, Irvine, Calif., said home prices continued to move along at a blistering pace in March, raising questions about affordability and availability.

The company’s Home Price Index reported home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased year over year by 7.1 percent in March from a year ago and increased month over month by 1.6 percent from February.

The CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates home prices will increase by 4.9 percent on a year-over-year basis from through March 2018 and by 0.6 percent through April.

“With a forecasted increase of almost 5 percent over the next 12 months, the index is expected to reach the previous peak during the second half of this year,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Prices in more than half the country have already surpassed their previous peaks, and almost 20 percent of metropolitan areas are now at their price peaks. Nationally, price growth has gradually accelerated over the past half-year, while rent growth for single-family rental homes has slowly decelerated over the same period.”

The report said price gains were broad-based, with 90 percent of metropolitan areas posting year-over-year gains. Major metropolitan areas were “especially hot” CoreLogic said, with four of the largest 10 markets rated as “overvalued.”

Geographically, gains were strongest in the West with Washington showing the highest appreciation at nearly 13 percent. Seattle, Tacoma and Bellingham posting gains of 13 to 14 percent.

“A potent mix of strong job gains, household formation, population growth and still-attractive mortgage rates in the face of tight inventories are fueling a continuing surge in home prices across the U.S.,” said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic.