For the first time since 2006, national home prices survived winter without experiencing a quarterly decline, according to Clear Capital’s market report for March. Home prices ended last month with a 6.5 percent year-over-year improvement, while the quarterly gain was a modest 0.9 percent.
“It has been seven years since home price growth continued throughout winter. This is very strong evidence of the start to a new leg of the recovery, one that should give further confidence to consumers and lenders alike that the recovery is real,” said Dr. Alex Villacorta, director of research and analytics at Clear Capital. “As buyers become more confident the recovery is sustainable, this sentiment should grow to create a positive feedback loop.”
Over the next three quarters, Clear Capital is projecting growth of 1.7 percent, which would bring the 2013 forecast to 2.6 percent. On a regional basis, Clear Capital found quarterly growth was the strongest in the West, where prices were up by 2.2 percent. The Northeast and South each saw prices grow 0.7 percent, while prices in the Midwest increased 0.3 percent quarter-over-quarter. On a yearly basis, the West also saw the strongest price gains, at 14.5 percent. The South came in at second with a 5.1 percent annual increase, followed by the Midwest (+4.2 percent) and the Northeast (+3.0 percent).