January marks eight straight years of home-price growth

Home prices nationwide grew 4% annually this past January, marking a full eight years of annual home-price growth on a yearly basis.

That’s according to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index (HPI) report, which also noted that January’s price growth, while down from the January 2019 increase of 4.2%, was up from a gain of 3.8% in December 2019.

“January marked the third consecutive month that annual home-price growth accelerated [month over month] in our national index, as low mortgage rates and rising income supported home sales,” said CoreLogic chief economist Frank Nothaft. “In February, mortgage rates fell to the lowest level in more than three years, which likely will spur additional home-shopping activity and price appreciation.”

CoreLogic’s HPI has increased year over year each month since February 2012. Since bottoming out in March 2011, the index has gained 63%. As of January 2020, the overall index has risen 9.6% above its April 2006 reading, which was a precrisis peak.

When adjusted for inflation, home prices went up 1.9% annually in January, putting them 11.6% below their peak, according to Molly Boesel, CoreLogic’s principal economist.

Price gains continue to be strongest in the entry-level home segment. Prices for the least-expensive tier of homes grew 5.7% year over year in January, while the most-expensive homes gained 3.7% during the same period. Since the 2011 trough, the lowest price tier has gained 97% while the highest-priced homes have appreciated by 49%.

Idaho continues to pace the nation in price appreciation, as it has since the latter stages of 2018. The Gem State posted annual price appreciation of 10.5% in January — the only state to log a double-digit increase. At the other end of the spectrum, only one state saw its home prices fall year over year in January — Connecticut, which experienced a 0.1% decrease from January 2019.

CoreLogic anticipates more price growth in the coming year, with its HPI forecast predicting that nationwide prices will rise by 5.4% year over year from January 2020 to January 2021. Month over month, CoreLogic expects home prices to increase 0.2% from January to February of this year.


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