LPS: Home Prices Climb 2.9% from January to March

LPS: Home Prices Climb 2.9% from January to March

BY: ESTHER CHO

In its latest reading on home values, Lender Processing Services, Inc. (LPS) reported strong price gains in March and increases in every state and metro the data provider tracks.

In dollar terms, the LPS Home Price Index (HPI) averaged $213,000 in March. The figure represents a 1.4 percent increase from February and a 7.6 percent improvement from March 2012. From January of this year to March, prices have climbed 2.9 percent.

However, national prices remain 19.5 percent below their June 2006 peak. According to LPS, Texas has already returned to its peak level, while Colorado sits just 0.7 percent below its 2007 peak.

Out of the 20 largest states LPS tracks, Georgia posted the biggest gain from February to March, rising 2.6 percent,

followed by Nevada (+2.4 percent), Washington D.C. (+2.1 percent), Washington (+2.1 percent), and Illinois (2.1 percent).

None of the states observed for the month showed price declines, but the states that brought in the smallest gains were Rhode Island, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Oklahoma, and Texas, where price increases ranged from 0.6 percent to 0.7 percent.

After analyzing 40 of the largest metro areas, LPS reported the markets that experienced the largest monthly price gains were San Jose (+3 percent), Atlanta (+2.6 percent), Las Vegas (+2.6 percent), San Francisco (+2.3 percent), and Deltona, Florida (+2.3 percent).

Despite the strong month-over-month gain, Las Vegas is 49 percent below its 2006 peak.

The bottom metro for March was Memphis, where price rose by just 0.2 percent. Prices increased by 0.4 percent for the remaining metros in the bottom five: York, Pennsylvania; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and San Antonio.

For distressed sale prices, LPS data revealed short sales tend to be priced 25 percent below non-distressed properties, while REOs are sold at a discount of 26 percent.

In Nevada, REOs are discounted by just 9 percent, while in New York and New Jersey, the price reductions are much steeper, at 40 and 35 percent, respectively.

Among the largest states, short sale discounts were the biggest in New York, at 35 percent, and the smallest in Texas, where the discount rate averaged 17 percent.

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