US House Prices Just Keep On Rising

House prices are still on the up in the USA while builders and realtors are reporting big sales increases as well.

Year-on-year, the average US house price rose by 6.9% to the end of July 2015, according to property market monitor CoreLogic.

The results gave the US 41 months in a row of rising year-on-year house prices.

At the same time, the National Association of Realtors announced brisk business with sales up 10% in the year and the official Census Bureau released figures showing new home sales surged by 26%.

The CoreLogic survey also found month-by-month house values were up 1.7% in July.

Jobs drive sales

Despite the cheerful figures that show green lights across the board, US house prices are still an average 6.6% below the pre-credit crisis peak in April 2006.

And CoreLogic added a note of caution, pointing out that although prices are rising, they are gaining in value at a slower rate.

The forecast is a 0.5% monthly increase for August and a 4.7% annual increase by the end of July 2016.

“Lower mortgage interest rates and confident pent up demand in the market are supporting a rising home sales market,” said a spokesman for the firm.

“Add to this a better jobs market that is giving younger buyers the chance to form new households and escape the rental market and you can see this will drive house prices for a while longer.”

Best and worst states

The five states with the largest monthly average price rises were:

  • Colorado (10.4%)
  • Washington (9.9%)
  • Nevada (9.1%)
  • Hawaii (8.9%)
  • Oregon (8.8%)

Those with the highest yearly average price increase were:

  • Colorado (10.1%)
  • Washington (9.5%)
  • Nevada (9.1%)
  • Oregon (9.1%)
  • New York (9.0%)

The five bargain basement states with property prices the farthest from the April 2006 peak were:

  • Nevada (-30.6%)
  • Florida (-28.1%)
  • Arizona (-25.1%)
  • Rhode Island (-24.2%)
  • Maryland (-20.2%)

These figures show that although states like Nevada are reporting among the highest monthly and yearly average price increases, the values are starting from a low base as they are still 30% the April 2006 peak.

For investors and expats, this means some of the favourite destination places for retirement and relocation – Las Vegas, Nevada; Orlando and Miami, Florida and Phoenix, Arizona, can still offer some attractive investments.

Austin and Houston, Texas, were the two metropolitan areas with the largest yearly price increases (9.3% and 7.3%); while Baltimore and Boston had the largest price drops.

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