Home values maintained their upward trajectory in February after climbing for the 16th straight month, according to Zillow’s monthly Home Value Index.
The index registered a national value of $158,100 last month, which represents a slight 0.1 percent increase from January and a 5.8 percent jump from February 2012, Zillow reported. The yearly gain is the second largest increase since August 2006. In January, the year-over-year gain was 6 percent.
At the same time, all 30 of the largest metros tracked by the online real estate marketplace saw monthly and yearly price growth.
“The housing market recovery has continued to gain momentum over the past several months and looks firmly entrenched as we enter the 2013 spring home shopping season,” said Zillow chief economist Dr. Stan Humphries.
“Rising home values will free many more homeowners from negative equity, allowing some of them to list their homes for sale which, in turn, will ease supply constraints. Burgeoning new construction will also help bring more supply into the marketplace. As more supply comes on line, home value appreciation rates will moderate and stabilize, marking the final transition from a recovering market to a healthy and sustainable market,” he added.
Of the 30 largest markets, the five markets that saw the biggest year-over-year increase were Phoenix (+22.9 percent), San Francisco (+18.6 percent), Las Vegas (+18.1 percent), San Jose (+17.1 percent) and Sacramento, Calif. (+15.3 percent).
Out of the 352 metros Zillow tracks, 73 saw prices decline from a year ago.
According to Zillow’s forecast, annual price gains should slow to a rate of 3.2 percent over a 12-month period ending in February 2014. This rate represents a decrease from the 5.6 percent annual rate of appreciation seen last year, but the rate is closer to historic norms of 3 percent to 5 percent, Zillow explained.
The Seattle-based company also noted a slight increase in national rents, which recorded a value of $1,282, up 0.1 percent from January and up 4.5 percent from February 2012.
The number of homes lost to foreclosure stayed on its downward path, with February seeing 5.25 homes foreclosed on out of every 10,000 homes, down 2.5 homes from a year ago.
Foreclosure sales, which were mixed, accounted for 13.71 percent of sales last month, up 1.2 percentage points from January, but still down 3.5 percentage points year-over-year, Zillow reported.
by Esther Cho