Home Prices Post Biggest Gain in 6 Years

Home prices gain
Home prices gain

By Shanthi Bhaharatwaj

Home prices rose 8.3 percent in December from a year earlier, the biggest gain since May 2006, according to CoreLogic. All but four states -- Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Illinois and Delaware -- posted increases. Prices rose 0.4 percent in December from November, the 10th consecutive monthly advance. Excluding foreclosures and short sales, which sell at deep discounts to market prices, home prices were up 7.5 percent on a year-over-year basis and 0.9 percent month-over-month.

The states with the highest home-price appreciation in December were Arizona (20 percent), Nevada (15.3 percent), Idaho (14.6 percent), California (12.6 percent) and Hawaii (12.5 percent). "We are heading into 2013 with home prices on the rebound," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "All signals point to a continued improvement in the fundamentals underpinning the U.S. housing market recovery."

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Housing appears to have some momentum, with prices expected to rise 7.9 percent in January from a year earlier, according to Core Logic's Pending Home Sales Index. Month over month, prices are likely to decline by 1 percent, reflecting the seasonal winter slowdown. Excluding foreclosures and short sales, home prices are likely to rise 8.6 percent on a year-over-year basis and 0.7 percent on a month-over-month basis in January.

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