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housing_market_activity(1)® recently released its July Local Market Index, a price performance summary of repeat sales in the top 100 markets, and the companion Midsize Markets Report for defined areas ranked from 101-300. Among the nation’s top 100 largest markets, 84 increased their three-month average index point change—15 less than in June.

Reviewing the midsize markets, 166 reported an increase over a three-month average, down 20 from the previous month. Of the combined top 100 markets and 200 midsize markets, 109 markets, or 36 percent, have achieved full pricing recovery, increasing one percent from last month. However, in an analysis of trends for quarter-over-quarter gains for the same period in 2013, both the top 100 and midsize markets were showing signs of slowing, with a decrease in gains from 2.5 to three percent down to 0.5 percent for the same reporting periods.

Of the nation’s top 100 largest markets, New Orleans-Metairie, Louisiana had the highest percentage increase over a three-month period of 0.58 percent. The annual percentage increase for the top 10 markets in July was between eight percent and 10 percent, similar to the June report. Of the top 10 markets that posted the highest gains over a three-month average, two were in Florida and three were in Pennsylvania. Among those top 10, three-month average percentages ranged between 0.37 percent and 0.58 percent; lower than in June.

Year-over-year, Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nevada saw the largest increase of 10.17 percent. Stockton-Lodi, California jumped above both San-Francisco-Oakland- Hayward, California and San Diego-Carlsbad, California with a year-over-year increase of 9.82 percent. Although California no longer dominated the top ten annual gaining markets, the West as a whole dominated the top increasing markets on an annual basis with nine markets seeing index point increases. Also, Utah had two markets in the top ten annual gaining markets with Provo-Orem, Utah and Salt Lake City, Utah seeing year-over-year gains of 8.49 percent and 8.41 percent, respectively.

Following last month’s trends, the South continued to prevail over the top performing markets, gaining at least 0.50 percent over a three-month average. Analyzing the other three regions, Scranton–Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton, Pennsylvania led the Northeast with a 0.43 percent increase; Stockton-Lodi, California led the West with a 0.46 percent increase; and Wichita, Kansas led the Midwest with a 0.21 percent increase over a three-month average. Additionally, the bottom performing markets each saw decreases in their three-month averages, with Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Connecticut having a 0.06 percent decrease, Colorado Springs, Colorado seeing a .15 percent decrease, Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio showing a 0.28 percent decrease, and McAllen- Edinburg-Mission, Texas seeing the smallest decrease of .03 percent.

Additionally, the number of midsize markets posting monthly percentage gains was 166, 20 less than in June. Year-over-year, however, 199 midsize markets experienced positive gains in market value, with the exception of Wheeling, West Virginia – Ohio which declined yearly at 5.52 percent. Annual changes once again were dominated by the West with five markets in California, two in Oregon, and one each in Washington, Montana and South Dakota. Of the top 10 markets over a three-month average, Rapid City, South Dakota performed the best, with a 1.55 percent three-month average increase.

In the Midsize Markets Report, all of the top 10 markets saw a three-month average increase of at least 0.59 percent and at least 8.49 percent gains annually, both of which were lower than the previous month’s increases. Annually, the majority of the gaining markets came from the West, including the top market, Bend – Redmond, Oregon, which posted an index point change of 9.87 percent.

“The month of July ended on a positive note for the majority of the nation’s housing markets, with more than one-third of the markets recovering from price declines during the recession and now reaching and even exceeding peak price levels,” says Terry Slattery, president of and For Rent Media Solutions. “We continue to see the majority of the U.S. housing markets making their way to recovery. However, we’re now seeing signs of slowing in comparison to this time last year, which is most likely a stabilization of the market.”

Additional highlights from the July Local Market Index reports included:

  • New Orleans-Metairie, Louisiana reported the largest three-month average increase with a 0.58 percent index point gain.
  • Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio saw the largest three-month average decrease at 0.28 percent.
  • The Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nevada and Stockton-Lodi, California metro areas posted annual index point increases of 10.17 percent and 9.82 percent, respectively.
  • The lone market on the yearly gaining list not from the western region was Miami- Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Florida, which saw an annual percentage increase of 8.54 percent.

Additional highlights from the Rebound Report:

  • Augusta-Richmond County, Georgia-South Carolina and Harrisburg-Carlisle, Pennsylvania both reached recovery with rebound percentages of 100.08 and 100.03 percent, respectively.
  • Columbus, Georgia-Alabama, which had fallen out of rebound in the previous month’s report, rebounded at 100.09 percent.
  • Champaign-Urbana, Illinois rebounded at 100.05 percent.

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