January 2013 US Home Prices: Zillow Says They're Up For 15th Month Straight, A Rate Of Growth Unseen Since The Run-Up To 2006 Housing Bubble

on February 22 2013 6:58 AM

January U.S. home prices chart from Zillow The average price of a U.S. home stood at $158,100 in January. The rate of growth in home prices in the past 15 months is looking a lot like the rate see in the run up to the housing bubble that peaked in April 2007. January's year-on-year average U.S. home price rise is the highest year-over-year rate of growth since July 2006.  Zillow

Economic uncertainties aside, Americans have been pushing up home prices for the past 15 months at a rate not seen since the 2006 run-up to the peak of the housing bubble.

According to online real estate database Zillow Inc.’s (NASDAQ:Z) monthly real estate market report, national home prices surged 6.2 percent in January compared with the same month last year. It was the highest rate of growth since July 2006 when the rate hit 7.5 percent. The Seattle-based company said rents are up, too, by 4.2 percent nationwide.

Home prices are a closely watched metric because demand for housing is a key indicator of consumers’ confidence in taking out mortgages. Rising home prices also mean construction of new units will increase as demand pushes prices up. New homeowners also tend to make ancillary purchases, such as for new appliances.

“Most markets have already hit a bottom -- with only nine out of 260 not projected to hit a bottom within the next year,” said the report, which assesses 260 markets nationwide.

Zillow predicts that 78 of these markets will see home values appreciate by at least 3 percent in 2013.

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