The uninterrupted streak of annual nationwide price increases was extended to 34 months in December CoreLogic said today.  The company's Home Price Index (HPI) that includes sales of distressed properties (short sales and lender owned real estate (REO) was up 5 percent compared to December 2013.  There were signs of weakness however as three states showed a deterioration in year-over-year prices and the national index including distressed sales dipped 0.1 percent compared to November.



Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia have seen prices climb back to within 10 percent of their pre-housing crisis peak but annual sales including distressed properties fell in December by 2.2 percent in Connecticut, 0.9 percent in Vermont, and 0.7 percent in Maryland.

The states with the greatest December to December growth in the distressed sales HPI were Colorado (+8.4 percent), Texas (+7.8 percent), New York (+7.6 percent), Nevada (+7.3 percent) and Michigan (+7.2 percent).

CoreLogic's HPI which excludes distressed sales increased 4.9 percent in December compared to a year earlier.  The five states with the highest home price appreciation were: New York (+8.0 percent), Colorado (+7.8 percent), Massachusetts (+7.2 percent), Texas (+7.1 percent) and Nevada (+7.1 percent).  Prices were up 0.1 percent for the month.

Sam Khater, CoreLogic's deputy chief economist said, "For the full year of 2014, home prices increased 7.4 percent, down from an 11.1 percent increase in 2013.  Nationally, home price growth moderated and stabilized at 5 percent the last four months of the year. The moderation can be clearly seen at the state level, with Colorado, Texas and New York at the high end of appreciation, ending the year with increases of about 8 percent. This contrasts with previous appreciation rates in the double digits-for instance, Nevada and California which experienced increases of more than 20 percent earlier in 2014."

CoreLogic's HPI including distressed sales in December was 13.4 percent below the peak it reached in April 2006.  Excluding distressed transactions, the peak-to-current change in the HPI for the same period was -9.6 percent.  The five states with the largest peak-to-current declines, including distressed transactions, were: Nevada (-36 percent), Florida (-33.5 percent), Arizona (-29.5 percent), Rhode Island (-29.1 percent) and Connecticut (-25.2 percent).

While 89 of the top 100 Core Based Statistical areas tracked by CoreLogic posted year-over-year increases, 11 saw declines.  Those areas were widely scattered geographically but six were in the Northeast.  The largest losses were suffered by Worcester, Massachusetts where prices declined 2.5 percent, Bridgeport-Stanford-Norwalk, Connecticut (-2.3 percent) and Baltimore (-1.9 percent). 

CoreLogic projects that home prices including distressed sales will increase 0.1 percent from December 2014 to January 2015 and the year-over-year change with be a positive 4.8 percent.  Excluding distressed sales, which are shrinking in their share of sales and also in their impact on statistics, the increase will also be 0.1 percent month over month and the annual increase is forecast at 4.5 percent.

"Nationally, home price appreciation took a pause in November and December 2014 and we expect a slow start to 2015," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "As the year progresses, we expect upward pressure as low inventories and more first-time buyers drive up home prices."