US home values increase for 14 months in a row, latest index shows

National home values in the United States rose again in July to an average of $161,600, up 0.4% from the previous month, according to latest Zillow Real Estate Market Report.

Home values were up 6% year on year in July, the fourteenth straight month of annual appreciation and the first time year on increases have reached 6 percent since August 2006.

Monthly home values have risen in 20 of the past 21 months, beginning in November 2011 after the US market bottomed in October of that year.

Of the 393 metros covered in July, 289 or 73.5%, registered month on month rises and 303 or 77.1% showed annual appreciation. All 30 of the largest metro areas covered by Zillow registered both monthly and annual appreciation in July, and all have hit their bottom and are expected to show appreciation in the next 12 months.

Metros with the largest annual gains in July included Sacramento at 33.1%, Las Vegas at 30.8% and San Francisco at 27.8%.
For the 12 month period from July 2013 to July 2014 home values are expected to rise another 4.8% to approximately $169,308, according to the Zillow Home Value Forecast.

Large metro areas expected to show the most appreciation over the next year include Sacramento at 19.6%, Riverside at 19.2% and San Francisco at 13.25.

‘After three straight months of annual home value appreciation above 5%, US housing market recovery has proven it is on very sound footing. We have entered a new phase in the recovery when we can begin to turn away from ugly recent history and turn toward what the housing market of the future will look like and how it will act,’ said Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries.

‘It may be tempting to look at how the market is currently performing and think that tackling GSE reform and other large issues is no longer necessary. But while we can afford to turn away from the recent past, we cannot afford to forget it, and simply ignoring these problems only dooms us to repeat them. How we handle these all important policy debates will be critical in keeping the housing market on sound footing for years to come,’ he added.

National rents also rose in July compared with June, up 0.5% to a Zillow Rent Index of $1,287. Year on year, national rents were up 1.7% in July.

The number of completed foreclosures in July fell to 4.9 homes foreclosed out of every 10,000 homes nationwide, down from 5.2 homes in June. Foreclosure resales represented 8.7% of homes sold in the US in July, down 0.7% from June and 3.4% from July 2012.