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Housing market starts 2013 on a tear.
Home prices jumped 9.7% in January from a year before and are on track for similar increases for February, market watcher CoreLogic says.
The gain marks the biggest year-over-year increase in almost seven years and the 11th consecutive monthly increase.
The increases, led by Western states, were broad. Only Delaware and Illinois experienced year-over-year price declines, down 0.1% and 0.4%, respectively, CoreLogic says.
Prices showed “strong growth during the typically slow winter season,” says Mark Fleming, Corelogic economist. “With these gains, the housing market is poised to enter the spring selling season on sound footing.”
The states with the fastest home price appreciation are largely those where the housing downturn hit the worst.
In January, Arizona prices were up 20% year-over-year. Nevada posted a 17.4% gain. Idaho jumped almost 15% and California, 14.1%, CoreLogic says.
Overall, 22 states saw January prices up 6% or more from the year before.
They included the Western leaders but also states such as Michigan, West Virginia, Vermont, Virginia and South Carolina.
CoreLogic says prices will rise 9.7% on a year-over-year basis in February, too. They’ll fall 0.3% in February from January reflecting a seasonal winter downturn, it says.
Numerous home price surveys are showing strong price gains. The Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller index showed prices up 7.3% last year, S&P said last week.
Given the increases of last year, 14 states and Washington D.C. are now within 10% of their previous peaks before the housing downturn, CoreLogic says.
South Dakota and Washington D.C. are basically on par with previous peaks, CoreLogic’s data shows.
North Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Iowa, Arkansas and Alaska are within 4% of their previous peaks.
Kentucky, Kansas, New York, Vermont, Texas, Colorado and Louisiana are within 10% of their peaks.
In many of those states, home prices didn’t fall as far during the downturn, or they have stronger economies — many with big energy or agricultural sectors — that have helped home prices.
Even with their leading price gains of late, Arizona prices are still 39% off their previous peaks, CoreLogic says. Nevada prices are down 52%. Florida prices are 43% off their peak but were up almost 10% in January year-over-year.