September Bucks Forebodings of Decelerating Price Gains

With recent predictions forecasting a falloff in home price increases over the next year, gains nevertheless continued at a strong pace in September, CoreLogicreported Tuesday in its monthly Home Price Index (HPI) report.

The company recorded a 12 percent annual gain in its HPI(including distressed sales) for September, representing the 19th straight monthly year-over-year increase and bringing the index to its highest point since May 2008.

The West claimed the top three spots for yearly appreciation, with Nevada (+25.3 percent), California (+22.5 percent), and Arizona (+14.6 percent) posting the highest percentages. Georgia (+14.4 percent) and Michigan (+13.9 percent) rounded out the list.

“U.S. home prices continued their ascent in September. Average home prices in nearly half the states are now within striking distance of their pre-downturn pricing peaks,” said Anand Nallathambi, CoreLogic’s president and CEO.

September’s report is of special significance, given the fact that the month marked the five-year anniversary of the start of the housing crisis. According to CoreLogic chief economist Dr. Mark Fleming, the five-year appreciation rate for all homes in the country was 3.4 percent.

On a monthly basis, home prices increased 0.2 percent over August, continuing a slowing trend that began earlier this year. Nallathambi said the deceleration in price gains “is natural and should help keep market fundamentals in balance over the longer term.”

Taking distressed sales out of the equation, CoreLogic reported a 10.8 percent annual increase and a 0.3 percent monthly increase in its HPI. Nevada (+22.4 percent) and California (+18.9 percent) were still the top spots for growth, with Utah (+13.2 percent), Arizona (+12.6 percent), and Florida (+12.6 percent) following.

CoreLogic’s Pending HPI, a proprietary metric that measures the current indication of price trends, predicts another strong month in October, with prices up 12.5 percent annually (including distressed sales). On a monthly basis, the recovery will continue to pump the brakes, resulting in an increase of only 0.1 percent.


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