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ABQ home prices post another gain

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existing homes for saleHome prices continued to rebound in March in the Albuquerque metro area, climbing by an average of 3.9 percent from a year earlier, according to a report released Tuesday by CoreLogic.

The March increase follows a 3.5 percent year-over-year increase in February, giving the metro its strongest consecutive months for home price increases in several years. Albuquerque was one of 98 metros among the nation’s 100 largest to experience an annual increase as of March.

Home prices increased by an average of 2.5 percent statewide in March, fifth lowest among the 50 states, according to CoreLogic’s Home Price Index. Only Arkansas posted a decrease.

Nationwide, home prices increased by an average of 11.1 percent year over year in March, although the pace of sales was showing signs of slowing just as the spring buying season approaches, the report notes.

“Home prices continue to rise across the nation, but affordability, tight credit and supply concerns are becoming an increasing drag on purchase market activity,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic, in a prepared statement.

Sellers and buyers appear to heading to the sidelines as the affordability, credit and supply issues sort themselves out, the report says. As a result, the index points to a decline nationwide in the pace of month-over-month price gains, from 1.4 percent in March from February to 0.8 percent in April from March.

As of March, the average home price in New Mexico was running at 20 percent below the peak price of April 2007. The average home price nationwide was 16 percent below its April 2006 peak. Home prices were at or within 10 percent of the peak price in 23 states as of March.

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.

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