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Home price growth improves in struggling areas


Phoenix home prices are improving rapidly.

The level of home prices in areas that struggled the most during the recession experienced significant improvement during the first month of 2012.

Home prices for the 13 markets examined in the report improved from anywhere between 9.3 percent and 24.1 percent, according to DataQuick's Property Intelligence Report. Phoenix had the most impressive growth level in January compared to the same month in 2012, while Sacramento followed with an increase of more than 15 percent. Detroit, Las Vegas and Richmond, Virginia, all rose by more than 14 percent.

"The January PIR reviews whether or not there is justification for these elevated growth rates, or if these growth rates are evidence of a new bubble forming in these areas," said Dr. Gordon Crawford, vice president of analytics for DataQuick, and author of the report. "Although these markets are rebounding, there is uncertainty as to whether or not they will sustain consistent growth."

Continued improvements in home prices may be due to the still-low mortgage rates, which may encourage some consumers to purchase a home. Freddie Mac explained that for the week ending February 28, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.51 percent, which was lower than the previous week's figure of 3.56 percent.

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