Tuesday, May 08, 2012

CoreLogic: House Price Index increases in March, Down 0.6% Year-over-year

by Bill McBride on 5/08/2012 09:04:00 AM

Notes: This CoreLogic House Price Index report is for March. The Case-Shiller index released two weeks ago was for February. Case-Shiller is currently the most followed house price index, however CoreLogic is used by the Federal Reserve and is followed by many analysts. The CoreLogic HPI is a three month weighted average and is not seasonally adjusted (NSA).

From CoreLogic: CoreLogic® March Home Price Index Shows Slight Year-Over-Year Decrease of Less Than One Percent

[CoreLogic March Home Price Index (HPI®) report] shows that nationally home prices, including distressed sales, declined on a year-over-year basis by 0.6 percent in March 2012 compared to March 2011. On a month-over-month basis, home prices, including distressed sales, increased by 0.6 percent in March 2012 compared to February 2012, the first month-over-month increase since July 2011.

Excluding distressed sales, month-over-month prices increased for the third month in a row. The CoreLogic HPI also shows that year-over-year prices, excluding distressed sales, rose by 0.9 percent in March 2012 compared to March 2011. Distressed sales include short sales and real estate owned (REO) transactions.

“This spring the housing market is responding to an improving balance between real estate supply and demand which is causing stabilization in house prices,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Although this has been the case in each of the last two years, the difference this year is that stabilization is occurring without the support of tax credits and in spite of a declining share of REO sales.”

“While housing prices remain flat nationally, in many markets tighter inventories are beginning to lift home prices,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and chief executive officer of CoreLogic.
CoreLogic House Price Index Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the national CoreLogic HPI data since 1976. January 2000 = 100.

The index was up 0.6% in March, and is down 0.6% over the last year.

The index is off 34% from the peak - and is just above the post-bubble low set last month.

CoreLogic YoY House Price IndexThe second graph is from CoreLogic. The year-over-year declines are getting smaller - this is the smallest year-over-year decline since 2010 when prices were impacted by the housing tax credit.

The year-over-year change will probably turn positive in April or May. The "stabilization" of house prices is a significant story.

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