93 major housing markets saw home prices rise in March while 7 fell, Black Knight says

THE home price correction continues to falter. That’s according to the latest data released Wednesday by the Black Knight Home Price Index. Between February and March, the mortgage giant’s latest monthly reading shows that 93 of the nation’s 100 largest housing markets saw house prices increase month-on-month. Meanwhile, only seven of the 100 largest markets individually tracked by Black Knight saw home price declines month over month.

In comparison, between January and February79 of those major housing markets saw house prices rise, while 19 others saw month-over-month declines, and two were flat.

“A modest increase in buyer demand [this spring] ran headlong into the fall in supply for sale, leading to the third consecutive monthly increase in house prices after they retreated from recent highs through the end of 2022, essentially nationwide,” Andy Walden, vice president of enterprise search strategy at Black Knight, wrote in a statement.

The fact that only seven major housing markets saw house prices decline in March speaks to how quickly the housing market stabilized this spring. Just five months ago, prices were down on a seasonally adjusted month-over-month basis in 92 of the nation’s 100 largest housing markets.

The largest month-on-month gains were seen in Midwest and East Coast markets such as Columbus, Ohio (+1.08%), Hartford, Conn. (+1.04%) and Worcester, Mass. (+1.04%). While the biggest month-to-month declines were seen in Western and Southwestern markets like Austin, Texas (–0.72%) and Provo, Utah (–0.24%).

Does this increase mean that house prices are at an all-time low? Or is it just a fake head?

Companies including Zillow And CoreLogic believe that this effectively marks the bottom of national property prices, while others, Moody’s Analytics And Fannie Maethink prices will drop again once we get out of peak home buying season.

Even if the national market has indeed bottomed out, this does not mean that all regional markets will follow.

Last month, Walden pointed out that “despite changing market trends, we are not yet necessarily off the hook when it comes to [falling] house prices… Affordability, despite modest improvement, remains about where it was at the peak of the market in 2006 nationally, requiring about a third of the median household income to pay the mortgage payment on the buying a home at the median price at today’s income and interest rate levels.

Of the 100 largest markets tracked by Black Knight, 53 housing markets ended March at a price that remains below their all-time high in 2022. Meanwhile, 47 markets are back – or above – their 2022 peak. However, even this metric marks an improvement from February, when 75 major housing markets were below their 2022 peak price and only 25 markets were back or above their 2022 peak .

Markets where home prices have fallen the most since the peak include places like Austin (–13.3%); San Jose (–11.4%); San Francisco (–11.2%); Seattle (–10.9%); Phoenix (–10%); Las Vegas (–9.4%); Woody (–9.4%); Stockton, California (–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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