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Home prices forecast to grow, but won’t repeat 2012 levels

Home prices spiked in 2012 throughout most of the region, and experts expect the gains to continue through the remainder of this year, albeit at a slower rate, according to a report released Thursday.

National real estate data firm CoreLogic, which closely watches housing markets, confirmed Thursday that 2012 was a year of big gains in home prices.

Nationwide, home prices picked up by 7.3 percent year-over-year in 2012, the strongest level in about seven years prior. Projections are for U.S. prices to rise 2.5 percent this year, according to the CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indexes.

“It’s finally a more normal situation where if you own a home, you’re actually building equity in your home because prices are rising,” said David Stiff, Core Logic Case-Shiller chief economist.

The report affirms what Dayton Area Board of Realtors previously reported about the local market: for all of Montgomery, Greene and Preble counties and parts of Warren County, home prices rose about 5.6 percent on average in 2012 from 2011, the highest year-over-year appreciation in the Dayton market in about 14 years.

A similar thing happened in the Cincinnati metropolitan market, encompassing Butler and Warren counties. Prices rose 3.2 percent on average last year in Cincinnati, according to Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors.

However, in Clark County, home prices dropped 1.5 percent in 2012 from the year before, according to Western Regional Information Systems & Technology.

Prices from the realtor groups are based on the average full-year price of resold single family homes and condominiums. CoreLogic uses comparisons of average fourth quarter prices in a given year.

CoreLogic Case-Schiller expects home prices to rise 1.1 percent from the end of 2012 to the end of 2013 in the Dayton and Springfield metro areas. Home prices in the Cincinnati metro are forecast to increase 1.5 percent over the same time period.

Shaun Bond, director of University of Cincinnati’s Real Estate Center, said he sees the housing market moving to the next stage of recovery, away from an investor led market and into a more normal market.

Low mortgage interest rates will continue to lure buyers, Bond said. Working against that are loan qualifications and a low supply of desirable housing available for sale. Until supply picks up, housing markets will be somewhat constrained.

“At some point the investors will become less active because pricing becomes less attractive,” Bond said.

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