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U.S. Home Prices Expected to Reach New Peak Values in 2020

U.S. Home Prices Expected to Reach New Peak Values in 2020


Based on CoreLogic's latest Home Price Index for December 2019, U.S. home prices rose both year over year and month over month. Home prices increased nationally by 4% from December 2018. On a month-over-month basis, prices increased by 0.3% in December 2019.

Home prices continue to increase on an annual basis with the CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicating annual price growth will be 5.2% from December 2019 to December 2020. On a month-over-month basis, the forecast calls for U.S. home prices to increase by 0.1% from December 2019 to January 2020, which would mark a new peak in prices since the last recorded peak in April 2006.

The CoreLogic HPI Forecast is a projection of home prices calculated using the CoreLogic HPI and other economic variables. Values are derived from state-level forecasts by weighting indices according to the number of owner-occupied households for each state.

"Moderately priced homes are in high demand and short supply, pushing up values and eroding affordability for first-time buyers," said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic. "Homes that sold for 25% or more below the local median price experienced a 5.9% price gain in 2019, compared with a 3.7% gain for homes that sold for 25% or more above the median."

According to the CoreLogic Market Condition Indicators (MCI), an analysis of housing values in the country's 100 largest metropolitan areas based on housing stock, 34% of metropolitan areas have an overvalued housing market as of December 2019. The MCI analysis categorizes home prices in individual markets as undervalued, at value or overvalued, by comparing home prices to their long-run, sustainable levels, which are supported by local market fundamentals such as disposable income. As of December 2019, 26% of the top 100 metropolitan areas were undervalued, and 40% were at value.

When looking at only the top 50 markets based on housing stock, 40% were overvalued, 20% were undervalued and 40% were at value in December 2019. The MCI analysis defines an overvalued housing market as one in which home prices are at least 10% above the long-term, sustainable level. An undervalued housing market is one in which home prices are at least 10% below the sustainable level.

During the second quarter of 2019, CoreLogic, together with RTi Research of Norwalk, Connecticut, conducted an extensive survey measuring consumer-housing sentiment among millennials. The study revealed a significant contrast between younger millennials (ages 21-29) and older millennials (ages 30-38) regarding lifestyle preferences and aspirations for homeownership. Though 79% of younger millennial renters express a desire to purchase a home in the future, very few have previously owned a home, and many do not currently feel the need to own a home. However, due to homeownership rates nearly doubling for millennials once they reach their 30s, many enter a transitional period around 29-30 years old and reconsider their priorities.

"On a national level, home prices are on an upswing," said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "Price growth is likely to accelerate in 2020. And while demand for homeownership has continued to increase for millennials, particularly those in their 30s, 74% admit they have had to make significant financial sacrifices to afford a home. This could become an even bigger factor as home prices reach new heights during 2020."


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