U.S. home prices make large jump in February

Home prices rose 10.2 percent in February — the largest amount in seven years — compared with a year earlier.
By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER Published: April 4, 2013

The supply of homes for sale did rise in February for the first time in 10 months. That suggests more people are gaining confidence in the housing recovery, which could help ease supply concerns and drive sales higher in the coming months.

The price gains were concentrated in the West, according to CoreLogic. The states with the biggest price gains were Nevada, where prices rose 19.3 percent, followed by Arizona, with 18.6 percent, and California, with 15.3 percent.

Hawaii and Idaho rose 14.6 percent and 13.5 percent, respectively.

The cities with the biggest gains were Phoenix, Los Angeles, Riverside, Calif., Atlanta and New York.

Nationwide, home values were still down more than 26 percent from their peak in April 2006 through February, CoreLogic said.

Steady increases in prices help fuel the housing recovery. They encourage some homeowners to sell homes and entice some would-be buyers to purchase homes before prices rise further.

Higher prices also can make homeowners feel wealthier. That can encourage more consumer spending, which drives 70 percent of economic activity.