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Market Update 03/06/2019

January Home Prices Increased by 4.4 Percent Year Over Year Mortgage Rates Drop 0.6% Compared to Recent Rate Hike

CoreLogic released the CoreLogic Home Price Index  and HPI Forecast for January 2019, which shows home prices rose both year over year and month over month. Home prices increased nationally by 4.4 percent year over year from January 2018. This represents the slowest twelve-month home price growth rate since August 2012. On a month-over-month basis, prices increased by 0.1 percent in January 2019.
“As we head into 2019, we can expect continued strong employment growth and rising incomes which could support a reacceleration in home-price appreciation later this year.”
Looking ahead, the CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates that the 2019 annual average home price will increase 3.4 percent above the 2018 annual average. On a month-over-month basis, home prices are expected to decrease by 0.9 percent from January 2019 to February 2019. The CoreLogic HPI Forecast is a projection of home prices calculated using the CoreLogic HPI and other economic variables. Values are derived from state-level forecasts by weighting indices according to the number of owner-occupied households for each state.
“The spike in mortgage interest rates last fall chilled buyer activity and led to a slowdown in home sales and price growth,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Fixed-rate mortgage rates have dropped 0.6 percentage points since November 2018 and today are lower than they were a year ago. With interest rates at this level, we expect a solid home-buying season this spring.”
According to the CoreLogic Market Condition Indicators (MCI), an analysis of housing values in the country’s 100 largest metropolitan areas based on housing stock, 35 percent of metropolitan areas have an overvalued housing market as of January 2019. The MCI analysis categorizes home prices in individual markets as undervalued, at value or overvalued, by comparing home prices to their long-run, sustainable levels, which are supported by local market fundamentals (such as disposable income). Additionally, as of January 2019, 27 percent of the top 100 metropolitan areas were undervalued, and 38 percent were at value.
When looking at only the top 50 markets based on housing stock, 40 percent were overvalued, 18 percent were undervalued and 42 percent were at value in January 2019. The MCI analysis defines an overvalued housing market as one in which home prices are at least 10 percent above the long-term, sustainable level. An undervalued housing market is one in which home prices are at least 10 percent below the sustainable level.
Since peaking at 6.6 percent last April, annual home price gains have declined or held steady each month. “The slowing growth in home prices was inevitable in many respects as buyers pull back in the face of higher borrowing and ownership costs,” said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “As we head into 2019, we can expect continued strong employment growth and rising incomes which could support a reacceleration in home-price appreciation later this year.”