U.S. home prices rose slightly on a monthly basis in April, the first such increase since the expiration of a federal homebuyer tax credit program in mid-2010, according to data aggregator CoreLogic.
A home-price index compiled by CoreLogic showed national home prices in April up 0.7 percent month-to-month. On a year-over-year basis, however, prices were down 7.5 percent — an even steeper annual decline than in March, when the index fell a revised 6.8 percent.
When distressed sales — short sales and REOs (bank-owned homes) — are excluded from the index, however, the index showed home prices declining year-over-year by 0.5 percent in April and 1.6 percent in March.
"While the economic recovery is still fragile and one data point is not a trend, the month-over-month increase based on April sales activity is a positive sign. This is the first month-over-month increase in the HPI since government support for homebuying was removed, and it provides reason for cautious optimism," said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, in a statement.
Since the index’s April 2006 peak, home prices have fallen 33.8 percent, CoreLogic said.
The five states with the greatest depreciation in April were Idaho (-15.2 percent), Michigan (-13.2 percent), Arizona (-11.9 percent), Rhode Island (-11.6 percent) and Nevada (-11.4 percent).
The five states with the highest appreciation were North Dakota (+4.2 percent), Vermont (+3.4 percent), New York (+3.2 percent), Washington, D.C. (+2.2 percent) and Mississippi (+1.4 percent).
Of the 100 most-populous metro areas tracked by CoreLogic, 92 saw year-over-year index declines in April.
Change in CoreLogicHPI, 10 largest markets
|Market||Change from a year ago||Excluding distressed|
|Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga.||-9.1%||-5.6%|
|Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif.||-5.1%||2.8%|
|Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.||-4.1%||-1.4%|
|Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas||-3.4%||6.4%|
|New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J.||2%||3.1%|