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February’s 4% home price gain foretells busy spring

February’s 4% home price gain foretells busy spring

February’s gain represented the 33rd consecutive month of year-over-year house price gains in the county.

Orange County home values appear poised to take off again this spring, with sale prices up 4 percent in February, before the busy homebuying season kicked off, Irvine-based CoreLogic reported Tuesday.

February’s gain represented the 33rd consecutive month of year-over-year house price gains in the county.

Nationwide, February home prices shot up 5.6 percent from February 2014 levels.

The nation’s gain was “the hottest home price appreciation prior to the spring selling season in nine years,” said CoreLogic CEO Anand Nallathambi.

If interest rates remain low and consumer confidence remains high, “we expect (U.S.) home prices to rise by an additional 5 percent over the next 12 months,” Nallathambi said.

Another indicator of a potential hot market: Orange County homebuyers launched 2,975 escrows in March, figures from Steve Thomas’ ReportsOnHousing.com show. That’s the highest number of escrows in nearly two years.

CoreLogic figures show Los Angeles County having the third-hottest housing market among the nation’s largest metro areas in February. House prices there were up 7.9 percent year over year, trailing only the 10.4 percent gain in Houston and the 9.3 percent increase in Dallas.

The Inland Empire posted an increase of 5.1 percent, seventh-highest among big metro areas. Orange County’s gain ranked eighth.

Contact the writer: 714-796-7734 or jcollins@ocregister.com

The Orange County Register – News Headlines : Real Estate News