Home values began 2013 on a positive note, much the same way they ended 2012, and rose for the 15th consecutive month in January to a Zillow Home Value Index of $158,100, according to the January Zillow Real Estate Market Reports. January home values were up 0.7 percent from December 2012, and 6.2 percent from last year. The 6.2 percent annual gain is the largest since July 2006, when home values rose 7.5 percent year-over-year. The last time national home values were at this level was in June 2004.
Of the nation's 30 largest metro areas covered by Zillow, 27 showed monthly home value appreciation. Metro areas with the largest monthly gains in January included San Francisco (two percent), Tampa, Fla. (two percent), San Diego (1.8 percent), Riverside, Calif. (1.7 percent) and Sacramento, Calif. (1.5 percent).
On an annual basis, all 30 of the nation's largest metro areas tracked by Zillow experienced year-over-year gains in January. Major markets where home values rose the most over January 2012 included Phoenix (21.9 percent), San Francisco (17.2 percent), San Jose (16.8 percent), Las Vegas (16.2 percent) and Sacramento (13.7 percent).
Because of seasonality, national rents fell slightly in January compared with December, down 0.2 percent to a Zillow Rent Index of $1,271. Year-over-year, national rents were up 4.3 percent last month.
"The winter months are typically when things cool off in the housing market, but high demand and continued tight inventory in many markets have helped keep things at a boil through the early part of 2013," said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. "Demand will continue to be high throughout 2013, which will help home values and rents alike continue to rise. Foreclosure activity remains high, despite recent drop-offs. This will have the dual effects of nurturing rental demand, as displaced former homeowners seek new lodgings, and of adding supply to many markets, as foreclosed properties re-enter the market."
Completed foreclosures also slowed in January, falling to 5.54 homes foreclosed out of every 10,000 homes nationwide. That was down 0.8 homes over December and down 2.3 homes year-over-year.