CoreLogic Index Puts Home Prices Up 1.7% in March

National home prices increased 1.7% in March 2010 compared to the same month one year ago, marking the second month of year-over-year increases in the CoreLogic home price index (HPI). The March results are better than the upwardly revised 0.8% year-over-year increase in February, the first in more than three years, CoreLogic said. In 51 of the country’s 100 largest Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs), prices increased year-over-year in March, up from 42 CBSAs in February. However, from February to March, the HPI declined 0.3%. That follows a 1.7% decline from January to February. Since the HPI peaked in April 2006, the decline in home prices was 30.5% in March. The five best states for price appreciation were Maine (12.9%), Massachusetts (7.7%), Virginia (7.3%), California (6.2%) and Hawaii (5.2%). The states with the greatest depreciation were Idaho (11.1%), Nevada (8.8%), Illinois (8.2%), Maryland (6%) and Alabama (5.6%). The significant share of distressed sales in the market continues to influence the HPI forecast, CoreLogic said, adding longer-term, the forecast for home prices is more positive as the national economic recovery is expected to gain further traction in 2011. From March 2010 to March 2012, national home prices are expected to increase by 2.7%. This chart shows the state-by-state changes in house prices: When CoreLogic removed distressed sales from its dataset, year-over-year prices increased 1.9%, up from the 0.2% increase in February. In addition, when distressed sales are excluded, the peak-to-current drop in prices was 21.5% in March. CoreLogic believes the price increases in the past two reports won’t be sustained in the short-term. “The surge in home sales in March is giving the market a boost this spring,” said CoreLogic chief economist Mark Fleming. “As the influence of the tail end of the tax credit and spring buying season fade, price growth will fade with it as we go into summer.” Detroit, at a 6.1% decline, is the market CoreLogic predicts to have the most price depreciation in the next 12 months, followed by Seattle (4.1%), Nassau-Suffolk NY (3.4%) and Baltimore (3.3%). The top metro areas predicted to increase the most over the next twelve months are San Jose (6.8%), Buffalo-Niagara Falls (4.9%), Denver (4.7%) and San Diego (4.4%). Write to Austin Kilgore.

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