Home values are on the rise at last and posting significant increases. According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index (HPI) report, national home prices rose 9.7 percent year-over-year in January 2013. This is the biggest increase on record since April 2006 and continues an 11-month trend in increased national home prices. Month-over-month, home prices rose in January by 0.7 percent. All but two states – Delaware and Illinois – posted year-over-year price gains in January[1].

Many indices like the HPI evaluate home sales both including and excluding distressed sales, which would include short sales, foreclosures, andor REO properties, depending on the evaluation tool. Without distressed sales, CoreLogic reported that the year-over-year rise in sales prices was nine percent. However, in markets like Arizona, short sales are definitely driving the housing price improvement, with foreclosures in that market falling nearly 30 percent in the last three years and short sales rising 10 percent during that time[2]. Short sales tend to hurt local neighborhoods less and bring in higher prices than foreclosures.

Do you think that this 11-month trend of improving national prices can continue? Is the national average a good way to look at home prices these days?

by Carol VanSickle