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Markets with Rising Home Prices

All real estate is local.  Therefore, despite the slump in the national figures, there will naturally be some local areas with price increases.  According to a report from the government agency that regulates Fannie and Freddie, the top 20 markets with the strongest home price appreciation as of the first quarter in 2011 are:

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All are small markets.  The only large market with a price gain was in Pittsburg.  At the state level, Alaska was on top, followed by West Virginia and North Dakota.  Alaska and North Dakota have experienced solid job gains without feeling the pinch of economic recession.  West Virginia, after sharp job losses, has seen nice jobs recovery in the past year.

Note that there are many home price measurements — everything from the NAR median price series, based on MLS data, to Case-Shiller’s Index based on 20 large metro markets using econometric estimations — each with their strengths and weaknesses.  The above data only covers mortgages that are backed by Fannie and Freddie (about 40 percent of all mortgages outstanding) and as a result excludes FHA or VA-mortgaged homes, as well as those that are privately labeled and jumbo.  All-cash purchases and homes transactions that are owned free and clear are also not included.  The latest data is to the first quarter of this year (January, February, and March), so some components of the data are already six months old.    With this caveat in mind it is still worth noting the importance of local market differences.

The national aggregate data shows a price decline of 5.5 percent.  But one point worth noting is that the pace of the decline has significantly diminished with each passing month.  January and February price data fell 1.2 and 1.5 percent, respectively.  March price data fell by only 0.3 percent.  Perhaps this is a sign of impending price stabilization at the national level.

Thanks NAR

Dave & David Warner

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