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ABQ metro sees solid home price gains in Feb.

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homepricesHome prices in the Albuquerque metro area, after nudging up and down for most of 2013, increased by a solid 3.5 percent in February from a year earlier, CoreLogic reported Tuesday.

Albuquerque was among the 96 largest metros to see home prices improve year over year, while just four of the largest 100 metros – Little Rock, Ark.; Milwaukee, Wisc.; Rochester, N.Y.; and Norfolk/Virginia Beach,Va. – experienced drops.

Statewide, the average price increased 2.7 percent in February from a year earlier, which was the biggest increase since March 2013, according to CoreLogic’s Home Price Index. New Mexico had the seventh-lowest rate of year-over-year home price appreciation among the states.

The average increase nationwide was 12.2 percent, led by California at 15.9 percent, Nevada at 14.6 percent and Georgia at 14.2 percent. February marked two years of continuous monthly increases in average home prices across the country.

“As the spring homebuying season kicks off, house price appreciation continues to be strong,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, in a prepared statement.

“Although prices should remain strong in the near term due to a short supply of homes on the market, price increases should moderate over the next year as home equity releases pent-up supply,” he said.

CoreLogic’s index is based on the repeat sales of the same properties over time, an approach that tends to iron out shifts in supply and demand.

As of February, the average home price in New Mexico was 20.7 percent below its May 2007 peak, while the average price nationwide was 16.9 percent below the peak. Twenty-two states were at or within 10 percent of their price peaks in February.

Distressed property sales, such as short sales and sales of repossessed homes, continue to be a drag on average home prices in both Albuquerque and New Mexico. If distressed sales are taken out of the equation, home price gains would have improved year over year from 3.5 percent to 4.8 percent in Albuquerque, and from 2.7 percent to 3.9 percent statewide.

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