Trulia: Price Gains Show Accelerating Housing Recovery

Asking prices on homes for sale increased 5.1% on a year-over-year basis in December, according to Trulia, which added that not only are prices rising, the gains have accelerated in the last year.

Of the 100 largest metropolitan areas, 82 had an increase in asking prices on a year-over-year basis. On a seasonally adjusted basis, there was a 2.3% quarter-over-quarter increase in prices and a 0.7% month-over-month increase in prices.

Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist, said the price increase was strongest in the west and southwest, where there was steady job growth and shrinking inventories of homes for sale.

Phoenix had a 26% year-over-year increase in asking prices, but the biggest turnarounds were seen in Las Vegas and Seattle. Las Vegas went from a loss of 11.2% on a year-over-year basis for December 2011 to a 16.3% increase for December 2012 while Seattle went from a 13.8% loss to a 10.2% gain.

“The housing market enters 2013 with a running start. Price gains picked up steam in 2012, starting with modest increases early in the year and accelerating in the third and fourth quarter.

“In 2013, rising prices will encourage more new construction and some homeowners to sell, which will help alleviate the current inventory shortage,” Kolko said.

But there are those who predict a slow housing market recovery in 2013, including Rick Sharga of Carrington Mortgage in a presentation at the NAMB National meeting in December.