CoreLogic: Home prices increase 9.7 percent in January

As the housing market continues to improve and real estate activity picks up, it's likely that more people will start thinking about investing in their own property.

On March 5, business analytics company CoreLogic released its Home Price Index (HPI) Report for January, which reveals some promising data for the real estate market as it approaches the busy spring season. 

According to the information, home prices jumped 9.7 percent in January compared to the previous year. This is the most significant annual increase in nearly seven years and the 11th consecutive month of improvement. On a month-over-month basis, prices crept up 0.7 percent from December to January.

Of the 50 states, only two – Delaware and Illinois – didn't see year-over-year price increases, declining 0.1 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. The five states that showed the most notable improvement were Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, California and Hawaii, where home prices rose 20.1 percent, 17.4 percent, 14.9 percent, 14.1 percent and 14.0 percent, respectively. 

Although it will still take some time for the real estate industry to fully emerge from the most recent housing crisis, the good news is that 14 states and Washington D.C. currently have home prices within 10 percent of their previous peaks before the downturn, according to CoreLogic. 

"The HPI showed strong growth during the typically slow winter season," said CoreLogic chief economist Mark Fleming in a statement. "With these gains, the housing market is poised to enter the spring selling season on sound footing."

As the market continues to recover and real estate activity picks up in the coming months, it's likely that Americans may decide that it's a good time to invest in their own property. To prepare for a potential influx of borrowers, it's important for lenders to invest in loan management software, which ensures that individuals can stay on top of their monthly payments and remain financially responsible.