Based on CoreLogic's latest Home Price Index, U.S. home prices continued their gradual free fall in January 2023, with the 5.5% annual gain down for the ninth straight month and the lowest recorded since June 2020. Deceleration was particularly noticeable in the Western U.S. and other states and metro areas that saw substantial appreciation over the past few years. Three Northwestern states (along with Washington, D.C.) posted at least slight annual declines as migration patterns that began during the pandemic shifted, slowing demand and driving price decreases.
"While 2023 kicked off on a more optimistic note for the U.S. housing market, recent mortgage rate volatility highlights how much uncertainty remains," said Selma Hepp, chief economist at CoreLogic. "Nevertheless, the continued shortage of for-sale homes is likely to keep price declines modest, which are projected to top out at 3% peak to trough."
"Home price depreciation and strong income growth are expected to boost affordability, which is particularly important for first-time buyers," Hepp continued. "This group has accounted for a higher share of mortgage applications since last summer, as first-time buyers don't need to surrender an extremely low mortgage rate like current homeowners."
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