Black Knight's Data and Analytics division released its latest Home Price Index (HPI), based on March 2014 residential real estate transactions. The group found that home prices rose 1.0 percent for the month, reflecting a yearly increase of 7.0 percent.
The company combines its extensive property and loan-level databases to create a repeat sales analysis of home prices every month for more than 18,500 U.S. ZIP codes. Black Knight's HPI represents the price of non-distressed sales by accounting for price discounts from REO and short sales.
The average home price in March was $235,000, up 7 percent from the previous year's HPI of $220,000. Since the beginning of the year, home prices have increased by 1.5 percent from $231,000.
Home prices in March are 12.8 percent off of the home price peak of $269,000 seen in 2006.
Statewide, Michigan and Washington, D.C. led monthly gains, each showing positive increases of 1.6 percent. Washington (1.5 percent), Oregon (1.5 percent), and Illinois (1.5 percent) rounded out the top five for states with the largest increase in home prices.
The bottom five states had only one state with a decrease, Connecticut, which fell 0.1 percent for the month. Rhode Island (0.1 percent), Vermont (0.2 percent), New Hampshire (0.3 percent), and Arkansas (0.4 percent) rounded out the bottom five in price gains.
By metro, cities with the largest increase in HPI include San Jose, California (2.2 percent); San Francisco, California (2.0 percent); Detroit, Michigan (1.8 percent); Seattle, Washington (1.8 percent); and Grand Rapids, Michigan (1.7 percent).
The company noted that seven of the 40 largest metro areas hit new peaks in March, suggesting that perhaps a sluggish first quarter is on its way to rebounding in time for summer.