U.S. home price appreciation slows

U.S. quarter-over-quarter home prices fell for the first time in nine months as national year-over-year prices remain positive through March, according to a report from Clear Capital. The national 3.9% quarter-over-quarter downturn limited year-over-year gains to 5.1%.

All four U.S. regions did turn in positive yearly price gains for the first time since spring of 2006, but the milestone was countered by the return of regional quarterly price declines. REO saturation rates continued last month’s trend, rising 2.8 percentage points to 28.9%.

Major markets in the West continued to improve, where seven of fifteen of the highest performing markets are located in California. The West region is generally not experiencing the sharp upticks in REO saturation and solid drops in quarterly prices seen in other parts of the country.

Despite signs of recovery in the latter half of 2009, the Minneapolis area returned to quarterly price declines this winter (-3.6%). Some previously troubled Minneapolis micro markets, however, have experienced steep price increases of late.

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