Prices in West Show Strongest Gains, Nation Still Promising

We’ve seen strong home gains in recent months across the nation. March was no different where both the 10 and 20-city city indices in the Case-home_up_arrow_shutterstock_117398371Shiller Home Price Indices saw double-digit gains. Month-over-month, the 10 and 20-city indices improved 1.4% in March. Economists had forecasted the 20-city indices would rise slightly to 147.6, an increase of 0.7 percent for the month and 10.1 percent over March 2012.

Both the 10 and 20-city indices have improved year-over-year for 10 straight quarters, the first time that has happened since 2006. However, there are still regions struggling with declines. Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit in the Midwest showed no growth, showing a continuing struggle in the region.

Overall, the news is largely optimistic. Even though the Midwest cities saw no growth in March, the three cities saw declines in February making March a step in the right direction. New York was the only other city in which prices fell in March, dropping 0.4% after increasing the same amount in February.

None other than San Francisco led the monthly price gains in March. Prices in SF grew 3.9% to their highest level since July 2008. The rest of the west coast saw gains, too. Seattle saw a 3.0% increase, Las Vegas and Portland each saw 2.7% gains to their highest levels since May 2009 and August 2010, respectively.

Every city surveyed showed annual price gain. The leader is Phoenix where prices grew 22.5% and San Diego up 22.2 percent. Las Vegas is up 20.6 percent, Atlanta up 19.1 percent and Detroit is up 18.5 percent.

The west continues to show the greatest strength in gains nationwide. Prices have increased in Phoenix for 18 straight months, in Los Angeles and San Francisco for 13 straight months and in Las Vegas for 12 straight months.