Home Prices In 2006 Grow At Slowest Rate Since 1999

By: Real Estate Advisor

Home prices rice in the 2006 calendar year were at the slowest in eight years, according to Freddie Mac's Conventional Mortgage Home Price Index (CMHPI). The U.S. home prices grew at an annual rate of 6.1 % last year registering the lowest growth rate since 1999 when the prices appreciated at 5.4 %. By comparison, the annual growth rate in 2005 was 13.3 %, more than twice of last year's home price appreciate rate.

Home prices rose at an annual rate of 4.9 % in the 4th quarter of 2006 from the revised 3rd quarter rate of 4.4 %, according to the Freddie Mac Index, but a slowdown in home sales resulted in the decline in home value appreciation. Home sales experienced a decline of 11 % from the 4th quarter of 2005 to the 4th quarter of 2006 largely due to a decline in housing markets that experienced high housing costs and a weaker economy, as reported in a statement by Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. Nothaft's predictions for this year's home price appreciate rate is pretty grim. According to him, 2007 will see a home price appreciation rate of about 3 %, almost one half of the annual home price appreciation rate of 2006.

The following are the different regions of the U.S. that had experienced home price gains during the 4th quarter of 2006.

The Mountain states registered an average price gain of 8 %.
The South Atlantic states posted an annualized rate of 7.7 %.
The West South Central states experienced a growth rate of 6.3 %.
The East South Central states showed a home price growth of 6 %.
The Middle Atlantic states had a growth in home prices at a rate of 4.7 %.
The West North Central states posted a home price appreciate rate of 4.2 %.
The East North Central states registered an average price rise of 3.9 %.
The New England states showed an annual growth rate of 2.4 %.
The Pacific states listed an appreciation rate of 2.2 %.

California, Hawaii, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island and West Virginia are seven states that have experienced home price declines during the 4th quarter of 2006. Michigan is the only state that experienced a year-over-year decline in average home values.

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