The vast majority of the top 50 metropolitan housing markets in the U.S. will “experience yearly price increases during the second half [of 2013],” reportd Clear Capital in its Home Data Index Market Report this week. 45 of metro areas are projected to experience gains, with Bakersfield, California leading the pack with 5.2 percent price increases through the end of this year and Las Vegas coming in second with projected price growth of five percent[1]. Bakersfield leapt from 29th to first in the past three months. Cleveland, Ohio; Raleigh, North Carolina; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Denver, Colorado, are expected to depreciate in the next six months, although every area but Cleveland can likely expect price decreases of “less than 0.5 percent in each” city. Cleveland’s forecast is dimmer, with Clear Capital predicting a 2.2 percent price decline.

Alex Villacorta, vice president of research and analytics at Clear Capital, warned that although these numbers are extremely encouraging, homeowners and investors should not expect trends in double-digit appreciation to hold over the long term[2]. “Increasing gains are great news for homeowners and to be expected at this time of year,” he said, “[but] over the long run we don’t expect to see the current rates of growth sustained.” He added that “this is not really a bad thing” and that “we consider the current momentum and expected moderation a really healthy move toward a more sustained recovery.”

by Carole VanSickle