Home prices rose again nationally in September Lender Processing Services (LPS) said today, but in many areas, notably a lot of the older mill towns in the Northeast, prices are still declining, in some cases sharply. LPS's Home Price Index (HPI) was up 0.2 percent from August to $232,000 and has risen 8.2 percent since the beginning of the year and 9.0 percent since September 2012.
Nationally the HPI has climbed back to within 14.1 percent of the peak level reached in June of 2006 when the index was at $270,000. In many states however, such as Florida (-35.1 percent) and even, despite its recent unprecedented gains, California (-25.3 percent) prices have far from fully recovered.
LPS derives its data from residential real estate transactions and its own property and loan-level data bases. The HPI is the result of a repeat sales analysis representing the price of non-distressed properties by taking into account price discounts for bank-owned real estate and short sales.
Five states had increases in their HPI of half a percent or more from August to September, Nevada was up 0.8 percent, Georgia and South Carolina increased by 0.7 percent and both Florida and Illinois were up 0.5 percent. The largest month-over-month declines were in Connecticut (-0.9 percent), New Hampshire (-0.6 percent), Massachusetts (-0.5 percent) and Colorado and Pennsylvania each of which declined 0.4 percent.
Colorado along with Texas established new peak prices in July but while Texas has gone on to even higher HPI levels and established another peak in September, Colorado has declined every month since. The state is now down 0.7 percent from its recent peak.
The biggest price gains among metropolitan areas were almost all in the south. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina gained 1 percentage point in September followed by Charleston South Carolina, Atlanta, and Miami with 9 percent increases. There were five metro areas that were up 0.8 percent, Naples, Florida, Reno and Las Vegas, Ocean Pines, Maryland; and Key West. Austin, Texas gained 0.6 percent and established a new peak price at $241,000.
The big losers were mostly in New England. Torrington (-1.0 percent), Bridgeport (-0.9 percent), and Norwich (-0.9 percent), Connecticut were followed by Springfield, Massachusetts and New Haven, down 0.8 percent. York, Pennsylvania and Kennewick, Washington, down 0.7 percent. Worcester, Massachusetts and Manchester, New Hampshire each lost 0.6 percent in value from September. Denver, which had, along with Colorado, set a new peak in July is now off that peak by 0.8 percent after falling half a point in September.