Home prices continue their upward trek in March

CoreLogic: Low inventory, tight credit and high prices mean spring buying season may be sluggish

Home prices continued their steady climb upward in March and are helping crimp home sales in this year’s spring buying season, according to a report from analytics firm CoreLogic.

With a rise of 11.1 percent in March from the same month a year ago, home prices have now risen year over year for 25 consecutive months, the report said. Prices rose 1.4 percent from February.

Low inventory, tight credit and high price conditions helped keep transaction volume low, providing signs that the spring buying season may be sluggish this year, CoreLogic noted.

“March data on new- and existing-home sales was weaker than expected and is a cause for concern as we enter the spring buying season,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, in a statement.

Anthony Hull, Realogy’s chief financial officer, also noted that home sales during the spring buying season seemed poised to be lower than expected in the firm’s first-quarter earnings report.

In March, only Arkansas out of all U.S. states saw a year-over-year drop (down 0.3 percent) in its home prices. Home prices in Colorado, Washington, D.C., North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming all surpassed previous highs in March.

When distressed homes are excluded, home prices were up 9.5 percent year over year in March.

The five states that saw the greatest home price appreciation (including distressed sales) in March were: California (17.2 percent), Nevada (15.5 percent), Georgia (12.4 percent), Hawaii (12.3 percent) and Oregon (12.2 percent).

The five states that saw the greatest home price appreciation (excluding distressed sales) in March were: California (13.2 percent), Nevada (11.8 percent), Florida (10.9 percent), Maine (10.6 percent) and Hawaii (10.6 percent).


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