CoreLogic released the first of the major home price estimates for March on Tuesday.  The company's Home Price Index (HPI) estimates for both January and February were substantially higher both month over month (0.4 to 0.7 percentage points) and year-over-year (1.2-1.5 points) than the other three indices we follow, those from S&P Case-Shiller, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and Black Knight Financial Services.  They appear to be on track to be higher again this month. 

The company said its Home Price Index (HPI) increased by 6.7 percent compared to March 2015 and was 2.1 percent higher in March of this year than in February.  This is a slight deceleration from the annual increase it reported in January (6.8 percent), but nearly double its estimate of the January to February gain.

Washington State led the nation with a whopping 13 percent annual gain followed distantly by Oregon and Colorado, both with 10 percent increases. 



"Housing helped keep U.S. economic growth afloat in the first quarter of 2016 as residential investment recorded its strongest gain since the end of 2012," said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. "Low interest rates and increased home building suggest that housing will continue to be a growth driver."

Looking forward, CoreLogic forecasts an increase in home prices of 5.3 percent from March 2016 to March 2017 and 0.7 percent growth from March to April 2016. The forecast is a projection of home prices 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.

"Home prices reached the bottom five years ago, and since then have appreciated almost 40 percent," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "The highest appreciation was in the West, where prices continue to increase at double-digit rates."