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NEWS Home prices and rents in the US up for over 45 months in a row

National home values in the United States increased to an average of $187,300 in July, the 48th month in row of appreciating values, the latest index data shows.

Home values have risen by 5% over the past year and have been consistently climbing since August 2012, but still remain 4.7% below the peak of April 2007 when the median home value was $196,600.

The index report from real estate firm Zillow shows that Portland, Dallas and Denver reported the highest year on year home value appreciation among the 35 largest metros across the country. In Portland, home values rose almost 15% to a median value of $334,900 while in Dallas and Denver prices were up 11.9% and 11.3% respectively.

In notoriously expensive San Francisco, however, home values have been slowing down since the beginning of the year. In January, home values were up almost 12% year on year and are now appreciating at about half that pace, up 6.6% over the last 12 months.

‘The consistent rise in home values that we've been seeing for the past four years masks a number of region specific trends that have taken place over the past few months,’ said Zillow chief economist Svenja Gudell.

‘In most areas, the market is being driven mainly by a strong labour market and tight supply, especially among entry level homes that first time buyers are after. But some markets, especially the red-hot Pacific Northwest, are adding more jobs and attracting more residents, putting the pressure on home values and rents,’ she explained.

‘The Bay Area and Southern California are still growing at a faster pace than the nation as a whole, but growth rates have come back to earth a bit after several years of rapid growth. And markets in other regions, like the Northeast, keep steadily chugging along. All housing is local, and as the local economies in individual metros ebb and flow, housing will follow suit,’ she added.

She also pointed out that more than at any time since the boom and bust, the US housing market is being driven by local fundamentals, and not by national trends.

Zillow’s latest figures also shows that rents across the country have increased by 2% over the past year to $1,408 per month and have now increased for 47 months in a row.

Of the 35 largest US metros, Seattle, Portland and San Francisco reported the highest year on year rent appreciation. In Seattle rents rose almost 10% to a median of $2,052 per month, while rents in Portland rose just over 8%.

In San Francisco, the median rent price rose to $3,407 per month, the second highest of all metros, right after San Jose in California while rents in San Francisco appreciated 6% over the past year.

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