For first time in two years, U.S. home prices appreciate in consecutive months: CoreLogic

June 05, 2012 02:30PM

Home prices rose 1.1 percent in April over the previous 12 months, according to a CoreLogic Home Price Index released today, offering more evidence that the national housing market is improving even as the closely watched Case-Shiller Index remains stuck in negative territory (although its latest data is from March). CoreLogic found April to be the second consecutive month of positive annual returns, the first time that’s happened in nearly two years. April’s prices were also 2.2 percent greater than home prices were in March.

Excluding foreclosure sales and short sales, housing prices increased 1.9 percent annually and 2.6 percent on a monthly basis.

“Excluding distressed sales, home prices in March and April are improving at a rate not seen since late 2006 and appreciating at a faster rate than during the tax-credit boomlet in 2010,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.

The report predicted the trend towards increasing prices would continue, as CoreLogic’s newly launched pending home price index, which measures the price changes in homes currently under contract and not yet closed, indicated that prices would increase by an additional 2 percent in the May 2012 reading.

In the New York-White Plains, N.Y.-Wayne, N.J. market, single-family home prices jumped 1.3 percent year-over-year. Excluding distressed sales, the increase was 1.4 percent. New York state as a whole saw a 2.9 percent annual appreciation in home prices, according to the report.

While CoreLogic’s findings were positive, its contradiction of the recently reported Case-Shiller numbers further clouds consumers’ already blurry perceptions on the true state of the housing market. — Adam Fusfeld