The home price correction continues to lose steam. That’s according to the latest data published Wednesday by the Black Knight Home Price Index. Between February and March, the mortgage lending giant’s latest monthly reading finds that 93 of the nation’s 100 largest housing markets saw a month-over-month home price increase. Meanwhile, just seven of the 100 largest markets individually tracked by Black Knight saw a month-over-month home price decrease.
For comparison, between January and February, 79 of those major housing markets saw home prices rise, while another 19 saw declines on a month-over-month basis, and two remained flat.
“A modest bump in homebuyer demand [this spring] ran headlong into falling for-sale supply, leading to the third consecutive monthly increase in home prices after they’d been pulling back from recent peaks through the tail end of 2022, essentially nationwide,” wrote Andy Walden, VP of enterprise research strategy at Black Knight, in a statement.
The fact that just seven major housing markets saw a home price decline in March speaks to how fast the housing market has stabilized this spring. Just five months ago, prices were declining on a seasonally adjusted month-over-month basis in 92 of the nation’s 100 largest housing markets.
The biggest one-month gains were found in Midwestern and East Coast markets such as Columbus, Ohio (+1.08%), Hartford, Conn. (+1.04%), and Worcester, Mass. (+1.04%). While the sharpest one-month declines could be found in Western and Southwestern markets like Austin, Texas (–0.72%), and Provo, Utah (–0.24%).
Does this uptick mean home prices are bottoming? Or is it simply a head fake?
Firms including Zillow and CoreLogic believe this does indeed mark the bottom for national house prices, while others, Moody’s Analytics and Fannie Mae, think prices will fall again once we’re out of the peak homebuying season.
Even if the national market has indeed “bottomed,” it doesn’t mean every regional market will follow suit.
Last month, Walden pointed out that “despite shifting market trends, we’re not necessarily out of the woods yet when it comes to [falling] home prices…Affordability, despite modest improvement, remains roughly where it was at the peak of the market in 2006 nationally, requiring approximately one-third of the median household income to afford the mortgage payment on the median-priced home purchase at today’s income and interest rate levels.”
Among the 100 largest markets tracked by Black Knight, 53 housing markets ended March at a price that remains below their 2022 peak price. Meanwhile 47 markets are back—or above—their 2022 peak. However, even that metric marks an improvement from February, when 75 major housing markets were below their 2022 peak price and just 25 markets were back—or above—their 2022 peak.
The markets where home prices are down the most since the peak includes places like Austin (–13.3%); San Jose (–11.4%); San Francisco (–11.2%); Seattle (–10.9%); Phoenix (–10%); Las Vegas (–9.4%); Boise (–9.4%); Stockton, Calif. (–9.4%); Sacramento (–8.7%); and Salt Lake City (–8%).
Nationally, home prices are still down 1.7% from the 2022 peak, according to the Black Knight Home Price Index.
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