US home prices rose last year by most in 6.5 years
"All signals point to a continued improvement in the fundamentals underpinning the U.S. housing market recovery," said Anand Nallathambi, CEO of CoreLogic.
The states with the biggest price gains were Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, California and Hawaii. The four states where prices fell were Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The housing recovery is also boosting job creation. Construction companies have added 98,000 jobs in the past four months, the best hiring spree since the bubble burst in 2006. Economists forecast even more could be added this year.
Housing has been a leading driver of past recoveries. But the bursting of the housing bubble pushed a flood of foreclosed homes on the market at low prices. That made it hard for builders to compete.
And a collapse in home prices left millions of homeowners owing more on their mortgages than their houses were worth. That made it difficult to sell.
Now, six years after the bubble burst, those barriers are fading. Some economists forecast that housing could add a point or more to economic growth this year.
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