National home prices, including distressed sales, increased by 1.7% in March 2010 compared to March 2009, according to CoreLogic and its Home Price Index (HPI). This was an improvement over February's upwardly revised year-over-year price increase of 0.8%.
Excluding distressed sales, year-over-year prices increased in March by 1.9% – an improvement over the February non-distressed HPI, which fell by 0.2% year-over-year.
On a month-over-month basis, the national average HPI fell by 0.3% in March 2010 compared to February 2010, which was more moderate than the previous one-month decline of 1.7% from January to February.
"March's year-over-year increase in the HPI shows that the housing market is continuing to exhibit signs of stability," says Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. "The differences between trends, including and excluding distressed sales, indicate the strong influence of distressed activity remains, but the surge in home sales in March is giving the market a boost this spring. As the influence of the tail end of the tax credit and spring buying season fades, price growth will fade with it as we go into summer."
Including distressed sales, 51 of the top 100 Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) increased on a year-over-year basis in March. This is up from 42 CBSAs in February.
When distressed sales were included, Idaho (-11.1%) remained in first place as the top-ranked state for annual price depreciation in March, followed by Nevada (-8.8%), Illinois (-8.2%), Maryland (-6%) and Alabama (-5.6%).
All of these states also showed month-over-month decreases in their HPI between February and March.
Over the next 24 months (i.e., through March 2012), national home prices are expected to increase by 2.7% including distressed sales and by 8.1% excluding distressed sales.
Including distressed sales, Detroit (-6.1%) is predicted to have the most price depreciation in the next 12 months, followed by Seattle (-4.1%); Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y. (-3.4%); and Baltimore (-3.3%).
Excluding distressed sales, the numbers for these metro areas change significantly. Detroit's prices are still projected to fall 6.1%, while Seattle and Nassau-Suffolk would experience 1.4% and 2.1% depreciation, respectively. Leaving out distressed sales, CoreLogic forecasts Baltimore prices to improve by 2.1%.