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Home Price Index Jumps Up in February

Black Knight Financial Services released its Home Price Index (HPI), noting that home prices in the U.S. rose 0.7 percent for the month of February to an average of $233,000. The slight increase for the month reflects an overall yearly increase of 7.6 percent, according to the financial company.

The index "combines the company's extensive property and loan-level databases to produce a repeat sales analysis of home prices as of their transaction dates every month for each of more than 18,500 U.S. ZIP codes," the company said.

Black Knight's analysis validates previous reports from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which reported home prices rising 6.9 percent year-over-year from February 2013 to February 2014. The S&P Case-Shiller index is slated to release Tuesday, which should further clarify market trends for the spring and upcoming summer months.

The Black Knight report found that February home prices were 13.5 percent off of the June 2006 peak.

"February’s slight increase in HPI was to be expected as the recovery continues, and prices do rise coming out of winter," said Raj Dosaj, VP of HPI & Behavioral Models for Black Knight's Data & Analytics division.

Dosaj continued, "An increase in summer activity is also an expected seasonal event. Assuming no large economic shocks (including a larger than expected increase in interest rates), we should continue to see positive growth in 2014, but at a more moderate pace—including for the coming summer months—than we saw in 2013. Home price appreciation this year will likely fall somewhere in the 2-4% range."

States with the largest changes from last month include Oregon (1.4 percent), Washington (1.4 percent), California (1.3 percent), Nevada (1.2 percent), and Hawaii (1.1 percent).

California metros experienced large gains month-over month, with eight of the top ten metros for growth residing in the Golden State. HPI increased the most in San Jose, California (2.6 percent); San Francisco, California (2.2 percent); and Santa Rosa, California (1.8 percent).

Colorado and Texas each reached new price peaks in February, jumping to $259,000 and $188,000, respectively.

About Author: Colin Robins

Colin Robins is the online editor for DSNews.com. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Texas A&M University and a Master of Arts from the University of Texas, Dallas. Additionally, he contributes to the MReport, DS News' sister site.

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