us-home-prices-january Photo: Prayitno/Flickr

The upward trajectory of US home prices has continued into 2016, suggesting a strong spring may lie ahead for the real estate market.

In January, US home prices increased 1.3 percent from December 2015 and were up 6.9 percent from the same time last year, according to CoreLogic, a data and analytics company.

The state that saw the greatest year-over-year price appreciation in January was Washington, where prices were up 11.6 per cent.

Colorado and Oregon followed with 12-month price gains of 10.9 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

“Heading into the spring buying season, home prices continue to rise across much of the country,” says Anand Nallathambi, CoreLogic’s president and CEO, in a statement.

In fact, prices were up last month on a year-over-year basis in all but two southern states — prices were down 1.3 percent in Mississippi and 1.1 percent in Louisiana.

CoreLogic’s home price index, a main feature of its monthly reports, is based on repeat-sales data for both detached and attached single-family homes.

The firm says this “provides a more accurate ‘constant-quality’ view of pricing trends than pricing analyses based on all home sales.”

When stacked up against December’s home prices, nine states and the District of Columbia experienced drops.

Maine had the most pronounced decline, as January prices were 2.5 percent lower than a month earlier.

Hawaii, meanwhile, had the strongest month-over-month price appreciation at 3.5 percent.

By January 2017, CoreLogic expects home prices to increase another 5.5 percent from where they were last month.

CoreLogic predicts home prices in February will climb 0.5 percent over January.

“With rates staying low for now and continued solid job and income growth, the spring buying season is shaping up to be a good one,” Nallathambi concludes.

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