Where home prices are rising
Falling home prices might be the norm, but they're not dropping everywhere.
New figures from real estate data firm CoreLogic are a reminder of that fact, showing price gains in 13 states in August compared with a year earlier.
Maryland isn't one of them, mind you. Most of these states aren't ones that made headlines during the housing bubble years. Kansas, up 1 percent. North Dakota and Wyoming, up about 3.5 percent. West Virginia, up an eyebrow-raising 8.6 percent.
At the other extreme were Nevada and Arizona, states that did make headlines during the housing bubble and all the years since. Prices in each state declined more than 10 percent.
Maryland was in the middle, with home prices declining 2.1 percent.
When I crunched home-sale numbers to see trends at a local level during the first half of the year, some ZIP codes showed price gains -- on average, at least. Here are the bigger communities that fell into that category:
|Place name||ZIP||Jan-June sales||Jan-June avg price||Chg sales||Chg price|
|HAVRE DE GRACE||21078||112||$258,259||30%||8%|
CoreLogic's figures are drawn from a repeat-sales analysis, which tries to avoid apples-to-oranges comparisons by looking at the same homes over time. The local sales figures above -- drawn from Metropolitan Regional Information Systems -- are a tally of all transactions on the multiple-listing service, so the apples and oranges problem is always possible.
For instance, if most of the homes selling in your community this year are four-bedroom houses while most that sold last year were two-bedroom condos, that would drive the average price way up even if every home lost value. I'm sharing the ZIP codes with at least 50 home sales to try to cut down on that sort of skewing, but that's definitely at least part of the story for 21401 in Annapolis -- the ZIP with the 14 percent gain.
During the first half of this year, five homes there sold for at least $2.5 million -- including one for more than $5.6 million. First half of last year? Zippo. (That $5-million-plus property did sell for more than its last purchase price in 2003, though not 14 percent more. The increase came to 2.7 percent.)
Havre de Grace in Harford County, meanwhile, got a boost from BRAC, the military base relocation effort. The final flurry of relocation wrapped up this summer, though contractors might continue to move jobs to the area over the next few years.
To those familiar with any of the markets above: Are you seeing actual increases in prices?