Sonoma County home prices are expected to rise this year, but not as much as those for the rest of the nation.
County home prices are expected to increase by 1.78 percent from January through the end of the year, according to a report Thursday by First American CoreLogic. In comparison, the company predicted the nation’s home prices will rise 5.6 percent.
The predictions are tied to the company’s LoanPerformance Home Price Index, which tracks increases and decreases in sales prices for the same homes over time. As such, the results can vary significantly from reports that track median sales prices only.
For example, First American reported that the county’s home prices rose .55 percent in a 12-month period ending in January.
The Press Democrat housing report prepared by Coldwell Banker in Santa Rosa said January’s median sales price of $353,000 had increased 12 percent from the same 12 months.
First American predicted that housing prices nationally will dip 3.7 percent before bottoming in April. The prices are expected then to rise in the remainder of the year.
California home prices increase 1.6 percent for the 12-month period ending in January, according to the report. First American predicted the state’s home prices will climb 1.8 percent this year.

— Robert Digitale