Home Prices Rising at Fastest Pace in 12 Years

(CN) – Home prices rose in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the first quarter, jumping 6.9 percent from a year earlier, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said Thursday.

According to the agency, the top five states in annual appreciation were Nevada (13.7 percent); Washington (13.1 percent); Idaho (11.1 percent); Colorado (10.6 percent); and Utah (9.9 percent).

Home prices rose in each of the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. over the last four quarters. Annual price increases were greatest in Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nevada, where prices increased by 17.1 percent. Prices were weakest in Tulsa, OK, where they rose 0.8 percent, the report says.

The analysis also looks at the nation in terms of the none census divisions established by the federal government. From that perspective, the Pacific division experienced the strongest four-quarter appreciation, posting a 9.5 percent gain between the first quarters of 2017 and 2018, and a 2.6 percent increase in the first quarter of 2018.

Annual house price appreciation was weakest in the East South Central division, where prices rose 5.3 percent between the first quarters of 2017 and 2018, the agency said.

The rise in home prices has allowed more people to take cash out of their homes when they refinance. That activity rose 61 percent in the first quarter — the highest rate seen since just before the onset of the 2008 finance crisis.

“Home prices continue to rise across the U.S. but there are signs of tapering,” said Dr. William Doerner, the agency’s senior economist. “Since housing markets began to rebound in 2012, house price appreciation has been positive because demand has outpaced supply. In the last month, however, some regions reflect a slowing or even flattening of house price growth.”

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