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Home Price Appreciation Continues in April

Price gains among non-distressed homes accelerated among the nation's largest markets from March to April, according to one measure released Monday.

The latest Residential Price Index (RPI) report from FNC, Inc., shows home price appreciation continued in April at a monthly pace of 0.6 percent nationally, matching March's month-over-month increase.

Narrowing down the list of surveyed markets, the 30-city composite index picked up 0.6 percent compared to March's 0.4 percent gain, while the 10-city composite rose 0.7 percent from a 0.2 percent improvement the month prior.

"Low interest rates and continued declines in home foreclosures contribute to the price gain amid weak housing activity and modest economic growth," FNC said in its June report, adding, "The for-sale markets continue to see moderately rising asking prices and relatively fewer price markdowns, consistent with constrained inventory."

These trends seem likely to continue. According to FNC, in May, the average asking price was up 2.3 percent, while the asking-price discount was down to 2.2 percent.

Though monthly increases picked up momentum in April, yearly returns continued to moderate for the second straight month—"a sign that the annual rate of home price appreciation has peaked," FNC said.

Compared to a year ago, the 100-city national composite showed an increase of 8.4 percent, a slowdown from 9.1 percent in March. The 30- and 10-city components eased to annual appreciation rates of 9.6 percent (compared to 10.4 percent) and 10.1 percent (compared to 10.9 percent), respectively.

Month-to-month, 25 of the top 30 component markets posted a positive price change, led by Phoenix and Charlotte at 1.7 percent each. Following those metros were Sacramento (1.6 percent), Riverside (1.5 percent), and Miami (1.4 percent).

At the other end, three markets reported price depreciation from March to April—Dallas (-0.4 percent), St. Louis (-0.4 percent), and Seattle (-0.3 percent)—while prices were unchanged in Minneapolis and Columbus.

Year-over-year, positive changes ranged from as high as 23.1 percent in Riverside to as low as 0.4 percent in Cincinnati. Only Cleveland and St. Louis posted annual price declines—2.2 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively.

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