February’s U.S. Home Prices Signal Solid Start to Spring Buying Season

RIS Media

7 March 2013

Clear Capital recently released its Home Data Index(TM) (HDI) Market Report with data through February 2013. Using a broad array of public and proprietary data sources, the HDI Market Report publishes the most granular home data and analysis earlier than nearly any other index provider in the industry.

According to the report, February’s home prices are up 6.1 percent over the year, and quarterly price trends at the national and regional levels show moderate improvement over the typically slow winter season. Additionally, 11 (of 15) of the lowest performing major metro markets saw quarterly price trends in February give way to minor losses.

“While February’s yearly growth of 6.1 percent is encouraging, let’s remember this rate of growth is measured against the market’s bottom, which we reported in our March 2012 Market Report,” says Dr. Alex Villacorta, director of research and analytics at Clear Capital.” Consumer confidence continues to be vital to a broader housing recovery and national quarterly home prices expanding 1.0 percent in the midst of winter is confirmation the recovery has legs. While 1.0 percent is weaker in comparison to more recent rates of quarterly growth, the positive trend continues to support homebuyer confidence and is on par with the new normal.

Recent updates on the regulatory front could also build momentum in the housing revival. The Qualified Mortgage (QM) rule gives lenders more definition on extending credit to homebuyers, who continue to be encouraged by positive economic signs. The real question now is how many of those sidelined borrowers will qualify for a loan under the new rules. All told, February’s home data shows the housing recovery on track.”