Home prices see huge jump nationally, small increase locally

The Baltimore Sun

U.S. home prices last month saw their largest jump in more than six years, but the gains in metro Baltimore were much smaller than the national average.

Nationwide, home prices increased 8.3 percent in December compared with a year earlier. In Greater Baltimore, the increase was 1.8 percent, according to a report released Tuesday by real estate data firm CoreLogic.

The national increase was the largest since May 2006, according to CoreLogic’s figures, and December marked the tenth consecutive month of U.S. home price increases. The firm’s statistics include distressed sales, such as short sales.

Baltimore’s increase lags the national number because several states experienced growth rates in the double digits last month, pulling the U.S. average up.

Arizona saw a year-over-year price increase last month of 20.2 percent. Nevada and Idaho both had increases of roughly 15 percent. California and Hawaii’s annual increase was about 12.5 percent. North Dakota and Utah’s increase was nearly 11 percent.

Maryland was in the middle of the pack, at 3.6 percent, in terms of year-over-year growth last month.

Only four states, Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, saw home price depreciation of 3.5 percent or less from December 2011 to last month.

“We are heading into 2013 with home prices on the rebound,” said Anand Nallathambi, CoreLogic’s president and CEO. The firm projects that January will have a national year-over-year price gain of 7.9 percent.

From November to December, U.S. home prices were up 0.4 percent, CoreLogic said. Metro Baltimore’s home prices saw no change in the last two months of the year.

CoreLogic expects prices fell 1 percent nationally from December to January, as part of the normal winter decline in home sales.

Have a real estate news tip or experience to share? Email me at steve.kilar@baltsun.com.

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