2013 Spring Home Selling Season Strongest Since 2004

SEATTLE — July 23, 2013 —Home value appreciation spread and accelerated in the second quarter after a relatively slow start to the year, according to the second quarter Zillow Real Estate Market Reports. The U.S. Zillow Home Value Index rose to $161,100 as of the end of the second quarter, up 5.8 percent year-over-year and 2.4 percent from the first quarter, the largest annual gain since August 2006 and largest quarterly gain since the fourth quarter of 2005.

National home values rose just 0.25 percent during the first quarter. The 2.4 percent quarterly rise in the second quarter was the sixth straight quarter of appreciation and represents the largest second quarter gain since 2004.

Not only did the pace of home value appreciation quicken in the second quarter, but the recovery also fully took hold nationwide. Markets in some areas of the Northeast, Midwest and Southeastern U.S. that had previously been slow to turn the corner began to appreciate, which helped boost the overall national market. All of the top 30 largest metro areas covered by Zillow experienced annual appreciation as of the end of the second quarter, and all have hit their bottom. Metros with the largest annual gains in the second quarter included Sacramento (29.5 percent), Las Vegas (29.4 percent) and San Francisco (25.5 percent).

Home values are expected to rise another 5 percent over the next 12 months, according to the Zillow Home Value Forecast[iii]. Of the 30 largest metro areas, 29 are expected to show home value appreciation in the next year, with only the New York metro expected to fall (-0.8 percent). Metros expected to see the highest appreciation rates through June 2014 include Sacramento (18.9 percent), Riverside, Calif., (16.6 percent) and Phoenix (11 percent). But as home values continue to rise along with mortgage interest rates, and different kinds of buyers and sellers enter and exit the market, the landscape will change.

"The U.S. housing market as a whole is currently not experiencing a bubble, but in many places it sure must feel like one, with some markets experiencing annual home value appreciation approaching 30 percent. Homeowners are feeling a sense of whiplash after years of depreciation, but this kind of market behavior won't last," said Zillow Senior Economist Svenja Gudell. "Investors are starting to pull out of some markets and regular buyers are coming back, and more inventory is slowly but surely coming on line, both of which will contribute to slowdowns in appreciation. Additionally, in some overheated markets, rapid home value increases coupled with rising mortgage rates will lead to housing prices and financing costs outpacing local income growth, which will also contribute to a moderation of the market. Combined, all of these factors will help the market in the second half of 2013 and beyond normalize and become much more steady than it has been in these past six months."

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