Portland ranked 13th in the U.S. for home price appreciation in the latest take on the U.S. residential market. Truckee, California-based Clear Capital, a real estate research firm, ranked Portland at No. 13 for an 0.6 point increase in its January home price index compared to the prior quarter.Birmingham, Ala., led the nation, followed by Phoenix; Washington, D.C.; Denver and Orlando. Portland was sandwiched between Rochester, N.Y., and Sacramento, Calif.

The Portland price index for January fell 2.6 percent compared to one year ago, a potential hint of things to come. The Regional Multiple Listing Service will release its report on Portland area home sales for January later this month.

The most recent RMLS figures pegged the average price of a home sold in December at $260,800, down 6.2 percent compared to a year ago.

Clear Capital attributed a national decline of 2.6 percentage points to a loss of momentum in the Midwest, where the home price indices fell 5.2 percent compared to the prior year. In contrast, the Northeast index fell 0.1 percent, the Southern index fell 1.8 percent and the Western index fell 3.5 percent.

Portland Business Journal Monday, February 6, 2012, 9:49am PST