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Distressed Sales Do Not Slow Home Price Appreciation

home-price-increaseHome prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased by 2.7 percent month-over-month in April and have risen on a year-over-year basis for 38 consecutive months, according to the April 2015 CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI) released on Tuesday.

With distressed sales (short sales and REO transactions) figured in, 30 states plus the District of Columbia were at or within 10 percent of their peak prices in April, according to CoreLogic. The District of Columbia reaching price peaks not seen since the beginning of CoreLogic's HPI in January 1976. Some states within 10 percent of their peak were Alaska, Colorado, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming.

Home prices rose by 6.8 percent year-over-year and 2.3 percent month-over-month in April excluding distressed sales, according to CoreLogic. Home prices excluding distressed sales, which are normally discounted at 20 percent or more, actually appreciated at a lower rate month-over-month in April (2.3 percent) than home prices including distressed sales appreciated (2.7 percent). Year-over-year, prices appreciated at the same rate (6.8 percent) both with and without distressed sales: home prices including distressed sales appreciated by 5.1 percent over a three-month period; excluding distressed sales, prices increased by 4.9 percent over the same time frame.

"For the first four months of 2015, home sales were up 9 percent compared to the same period a year ago," said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. "One byproduct of the increased sales activity is rising house prices, and, as a result, month-over-month home prices are up almost 3 percent for April 2015 and up more than 6 percent from a year ago."

According to The CoreLogic HPI Forecast, including distressed sales, home prices are projected to increase by 1.1 percent from April to May this year and by 5.3 percent from April 2015 to April 2016. Excluding distressed sales, home prices are projected to rise by 0.9 percent month-over-month and 4.9 percent year-over-year.

"Old fashion supply and demand, fueled by historically low mortgage rates and improving consumer finances and confidence, continue to push home prices up," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "We expect continued price appreciation throughout 2015 and into next year. Over the longer term, household formation, up by more than one million over the past year alone, will drive down vacancy rates and create tighter housing markets in many metropolitan areas. This should provide the necessary underpinning for rising prices for the foreseeable future."

The five states with the highest year-over-year home price appreciation, including distressed sales, were South Carolina (11.4 percent), Colorado (9.7 percent), Washington (9.1 percent), Florida (9 percent), and Texas (8.3 percent).

Massachusetts was the state with the largest year-over-year home price depreciation, with a 1.7 percent decline, according to CoreLogic. The five states with the largest decline from peak-to-current were Nevada (33.9 percent), Florida (29.3 percent), Rhode Island (28.2 percent), Arizona (26.2 percent), and Connecticut (24.8 percent). The average national peak-to-current change in the National HPI from April 2006 to April 2015  (including distressed sales) was a 9 percent depreciation. Excluding distressed sales, the average nationwide peak-to-current change for the same period was a 5.1 percent depreciation.

About Author: Brian Honea

Brian Honea's writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master's degree from Amberton University in Garland.

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