Home prices increase slightly in February

National home prices, including distressed sales, increased by 0.3 percent in February 2010 compared to February 2009, according to First American CoreLogic and its LoanPerformance Home Price Index (HPI). This was an improvement over January’s year-over-year price decline of 0.5 percent. From January to February, U.S. house prices fell 0.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from January to February, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s monthly House Price Index. The previously reported 0.6 percent decline in January was unchanged. For the 12 months ending in February, U.S. prices fell 3.4 percent. Excluding distressed sales, year-over-year prices increased in February by 0.6 percent–an improvement over the January non-distressed HPI, which fell by 1.1 percent year-over-year.

After a modest increase this spring and summer, the national single-family combined index is projected to decline by 3.4 percent from February 2010 to February 2011 assuming the expiration of current Federal Housing Stimulus programs. Markets that are expected to experience the largest amount of price depreciation through February 2011 are Detroit (-16.4 percent), Seattle (-5.8 percent), Atlanta (-4.5 percent), Cleveland (-4.1 percent) and Indianapolis (-3.8 percent). Markets that are expected to experience the biggest appreciation are Denver (5.2 percent), Las Vegas (5.0 percent), Riverside, CA (3.0 percent), and Houston (3.0 percent). Excluding distressed sales, the worst five states for year-over-year price declines changes slightly. Nevada (-12.0 percent) is the top decliner, followed by Michigan (-9.1 percent), Florida (-7.5 percent), Arizona (-7.1 percent) and Utah (-5.8 percent).

The five best states for year-over-year price appreciation excluding distressed sales are North Dakota, Hawaii, the District of Columbia, California, and Maine.

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