National home prices ended the year by posting their biggest annual gain since May 2006, and prices rose in December for the 10th consecutive month, CoreLogic reported Tuesday.
The data provider's Home Price Index (HPI) registered a year-over-year increase of 8.3 percent in December when including distressed sales. From November to December, prices barely moved higher, increasing just 0.4 percent.
In January, the forward looking Pending HPI projects prices will rise 7.9 percent on a yearly basis in January, but fall by 1 percent on a monthly basis due to the typical seasonal decline.
""We are heading into 2013 with home prices on the rebound,"" said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. ""The upward trend in home prices in 2012 was broad based with 46 of 50 states registering gains for the year. All signals point to a continued improvement in the fundamentals underpinning the U.S. housing market recovery.""
The index also revealed all but four states saw prices improve on a yearly basis. The four states were Delaware (-3.4 percent), Illinois (-2.7 percent), New Jersey (-0.9 percent) and Pennsylvania (-0.5 percent).
Over a one-year period, Arizona experienced the biggest increase in prices--20.2 percent. The remaining states in the top five also saw double-digit gains: Nevada (+15.3 percent), Idaho (+14.6 percent), California (+12.6 percent), and Hawaii (+12.5 percent).
Out of the top 100 metropolitan areas as measured by population, only 16 experienced annual price declines in December.
Phoenix led the metros with its 22.9 percent annual increase and was followed by another hard-hit metro, Riverside (+11.3 percent). The remaining three metros in the top five were Los Angeles (+9.8 percent), New York (+8.5 percent), and Washington D.C. (+7.5 percent).