JUL 18, 2013 11:13am ET

Housing Recovery Continues as Home Values and Sales Rise

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Home sales activity and home price growth was greater in nearly every market during June, according to DataQuick’s Property Intelligence Report.

Out of 42 counties there was an increase in property sales and home price appreciation in 40 counties on a monthly basis. The only two counties that did not experience an increase in home sales during June were Queens County, N.Y., and Oakland County, Mich., outside Detroit.

Furthermore, foreclosures decreased in 20 of the 42 reported counties over the last month.

On a yearly basis, sales rose in 30 of the 42 counties, while values were up in 40 counties in June 2013 compared to a year ago. Foreclosure activity fell in 30 counties year-over-year, the San Diego-based analytics firm said.

“Despite lingering concern about the continued strength of the recovery, we are beginning to see a pattern of consistent housing growth spreading to more regions across the country,” said Gordon Crawford, vice president of analytics for DataQuick. “Last month, we focused on strong housing performance in the Rocky Mountain area, and we are now seeing that same kind of growth in the Northwest.”

For example, areas like Seattle and Portland—where nearly 6.2 million residents live—both experienced year-over-year home price appreciation by more than 17%. During the same time period, sales activity in these cities increased by 21.1% in Seattle and 17.4% in Portland.

Seattle’s economy is comprised of a mix of technology and industrial companies, while Portland also has a diversified employment base. DataQuick said housing performance has been positive in these areas because of employment growth and a strong economic recovery.

Other notable markets that saw home values rise substantially compared to June 2012 were Sacramento (up 29%), Oakland (26%), Phoenix (up 24%), Richmond (24%), Las Vegas (24%), San Jose (21%) and Fort Myers (20%).

Meanwhile, Chicago had the most home sales growth rate on a yearly basis, up more than 50%. Charlotte home sales increased approximately 43% during this time period, while the Texas cities Houston and Dallas saw activity rise by more than 29% and 27%, respectively.

Even though there has been steady improvement in the housing industry recently, DataQuick is wary that certain factors could cause demand to slow down in the future, such as the rate of job creation has been unsteady, domestic fiscal issues like the resolution of the current budget sequester and reaching the debt ceiling again, as well as longer-term fiscal uncertainty remains due to unsustainable deficit levels.

“Housing investors face heightened uncertainty from national and international sources. In the presence of uncertainty, individuals have a difficult time valuing real estate, dampening the activity of both buyers and sellers,” DataQuick said in the report.

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