PhotoHomeowners had a lot to smile about in March.

Property information provider CoreLogic's home price index (HPI) shows home prices continued to put money in their owner's pockets.

Prices nationwide -- including distressed sales -- jumped 7.1% in March from the same month a year earlier and rose on a month-over-month basis by 1.6%.

Price gains were broad-based, according to the HPI, with 90% of metropolitan areas posting year-over-year gains. Major metropolitan areas were especially hot with CoreLogic data indicating that four of the largest 10 markets are now overvalued.

Geographically, gains were strongest in the West with Washington showing the highest appreciation -- almost 13% -- and Seattle, Tacoma, and Bellingham posting gains of 13-14%.

“The CoreLogic Home Price Index is only 2.8% from its 2006 peak,” said CoreLogic Chief Economist Dr. Frank Nothaft. “Prices in more than half the country have already surpassed their previous peaks, and almost 20% of metropolitan areas are now at their price peaks.”

Nationally, price growth has gradually accelerated over the past half-year, while rent growth for single-family rental homes has slowly decelerated over the same period, according to the CoreLogic Single-Family Rental Index, recording a 3% rise over the year through March.

A look ahead

The CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates home prices will rise 4.9% on a year-over-year basis from March 2017 to March 2018. On a month-over-month basis, the increase is expected to be about 0.6% from March to April.

If that forecast holds true, CoreLogic projects the HPI will hit its previous peak during the second half of this year.

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