Home prices are gaining steam again, fueled by tight supply amid growing demand.
Nationally, home prices were nearly 7 percent higher in August compared to a year ago, according to a new report from CoreLogic. That is a bigger annual gain than we saw during the spring market in May and June. Other monthly reports have shown the same phenomenon.
"It is clear that house price growth has picked up recently," noted analysts at Capital Economics, comparing August's annual gain to a 4.8 percent rise in February. "Indeed, with the months' supply of homes close to a 10-year low, if anything, both CoreLogic and Case-Shiller are reporting slower growth than might be expected."
While home prices nationally have not yet returned to their peak of the last housing boom, some local markets have surpassed it. Now, some claim the housing market is in a bubble far worse than the devastating one in 2006. The argument: Housing is far less affordable today than it was back then, and the home price gains are driven not by healthy, end-user demand but by a lack of construction, artificially low interest rates, and institutional and foreign all-cash buyers.