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Rising home prices: ABQ joins most metro areas with May increases

A house for sale at 521 Montclaire S.E. on Wednesday, April 3, 2013.
A house for sale at 521 Montclaire S.E. on Wednesday, April 3, 2013.
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Albuquerque was among the overwhelming majority of big metros to see home prices increase in May from a year earlier, which suggests that the housing recovery has reached almost all corners of the country.

The average single-family home price rose 2.3 percent last month in the Albuquerque metro from May 2012, according to the latest Home Price Index report from data and analytics company CoreLogic. May’s average price also edged up 0.2 percent from the preceding April.

Albuquerque was among the nation’s 97 largest metros with increases, including 33 that saw double-digit price increases. Only three of the nation’s top metros saw decreases.

New Mexico as a whole saw a home-price increase of 3.2 percent from a year earlier, well behind the average increase of 12.2 percent nationwide. The 12.2 percent jump was the most in seven years. CoreLogic projects an even bigger jump in price nationwide in June.

Home prices in New Mexico were still down 18.4 percent in May from their peak in May 2007. Nationwide, home prices were down 20.4 percent from their peak in April 2006.

Prices rose 26 percent in Nevada to lead all states. It was followed by California at 20.2 percent, Arizona at 16.9 percent, Hawaii at 16.1 percent and Oregon at 15.5 percent.

CoreLogic also says prices rose 2.6 percent in May from April, the fifteenth straight month-over-month increase.

Steady hiring and low mortgage rates have encouraged more Americans to buy homes. Greater demand, a limited number of homes for sale and fewer foreclosures have pushed prices higher, according to CoreLogic.

Sales of previously occupied homes topped the 5 million mark in May for the first time in 3 1/2 years. And the proportion of those sales that were “distressed” was at the lowest level in more than four years for the second straight month.

Distressed home sales include foreclosures and short sales.

A short sale is when a home sells for less than what is owed on the mortgage.

Home sales are expected to increase in the coming months. That’s because the number of people who signed contracts to buy homes rose in June to the highest level since December 2006.

There’s generally a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed sale.

One worry is that higher mortgage rates could slow the housing recovery. Still, rates remain low by historical standards. And increases in rates could boost home sales. That’s because many Americans may act to lock in the lower rates before they rise further.

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