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Home prices climb nearly 10 percent

Home prices nationwide were up 9.2 percent in December, the largest year-over-year gain in nearly seven years, according to a report.

Despite COVID-19, the U.S. housing market performed well in 2020, as low-mortgage rates convinced many first-time buyers to enter the housing market, Irvine-based CoreLogic reported Tuesday.

Still, the pandemic put a dent into the nation’s housing market. The supply of homes dropped 24 percent compared with 2019, as many homeowners who otherwise might have sold delayed selling.

Those factors led to substantial home price growth in 2020, when the average monthly year-over-year price gain was 5.7 percent, up from 3.8 percent in 2019.

“Two record lows are fueling home price gains: for-sale inventory and mortgage rates,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic’s chief economist, in the report. “Prospective sellers with flexible timetables have opted to delay listing their home until the pandemic fades or they are vaccinated. We can expect more inventory to come available in the second half of the year, leading to slowing in price growth toward year-end.”

Year-over-year data for the Inland Empire was not available.

 

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