Consumers who are interested in wading back into the housing market once again — either as buyers or sellers — may have noticed that prices in their area are generally on the rise. This was true on a national level once again in March.
The average home price nationwide rose in March to a total of approximately $213,000, according to the latest Home Price Index Report from Lender Processing Services. This current level is up by 1.4 percent on a monthly basis from the $210,000 observed in February, as well as representing a 7.6 percent increase from the same period in 2012, when the average price was just $198,000. However, this is still down considerably — 19.5 percent — from the $265,000 average price observed at the peak of the housing market in June 2006, prior to the housing meltdown.
Georgia, which was one of the states hardest hit by the downturn initially, also saw the largest monthly price increase in the nation, at 2.6 percent, the report said. Now, prices there average $141,000, up 9.5 percent from the $129,000 observed in March of last year, but is still more than 24 percent below the $186,000 from May 2007, when prices reached their peak. Nevada, the District of Columbia, Washington and Illinois also enjoyed increases of 2.1 percent or more.
Meanwhile, thanks to national increases, there wasn’t one state that suffered a decline in home prices in March, the report said. Rhode Island and Tennessee had the smallest home price growth at 0.6 percent, while Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Texas and Vermont came in at 0.7 percent increases each. In all, just nine states saw home price increases of less than 1 percent nationwide.
National growth was also seen on a local level, as even the city with the lowest growth (Memphis) still experienced a 0.2 percent increase in prices, the report said. Meanwhile, all cities in the top 10 nationwide — including San Jose, Atlanta, Las Vegas and San Francisco — saw the average home price appreciate by more than 2 percent.
It’s believed that home prices will continue to rise at least through the end of the year, if not beyond. However, experts caution that the increases observed in the past year are unlikely to be replicated going forward, with more subdued growth expected to take hold in the coming months.