U.S. Home Prices Increase 2.7% in March, FHFA Says [View all]
By Prashant Gopal on May 23, 2012
U.S. home prices jumped 2.7 percent in the 12 months through March as values increased in every region, a sign that a housing recovery is gaining traction.
Prices advanced 1.8 percent from February on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said today in a statement. The average estimate of 18 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for a 0.3 percent monthly gain. For the first quarter, prices rose 0.5 percent from a year earlier, the first annual increase since 2007.
Record-low mortgage rates, job gains and a dwindling inventory of properties available for sale have combined to strengthen demand for homes. Purchases of previously owned U.S. houses climbed 3.4 percent in April to a 4.62 million annual rate, the first increase in three months, the National Association of Realtors said yesterday.
“Increased affordability and a somewhat smaller inventory of homes for sale are positively impacting house prices,” Andrew Leventis, principal economist with the FHFA in Washington, said in the statement.