CoreLogic reports that December saw
yet another acceleration in home price increases. The company’s Home Price
Index (HPI) rose 9.2 percent on an annual basis.
The increase in November was
8.2 percent. The month-over-month change, 1.1 percent, was also greater than
the increase from October to November, 1.0 percent.  CoreLogic says the December data
means the housing market closed out the year with the highest annual price gain
since February 2014, far exceeding expectations. Other than a “blip” in April
reflecting the initial shock of the pandemic, home-purchase demand surged as
record-low mortgage rates persuaded first-time homebuyers to enter the market. COVID-19,
however, did serve to damp down the supply of homes. Inventories dropped, on
average, 24 percent below 2019 levels as homeowners delayed selling.


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