US home prices still rising but the pace has slowed

By Steve Randall

Home prices across the US continued higher in April but at a slower pace than the previous month.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index was up 6.4% year-over-year compared to 6.5% in March; he 10-City Composite annual gain was 6.2% (6.4% in March); and the 20-City Composite increased 6.6% (6.7% in March).

Once again it was Seattle (13.1%), Las Vegas (12.7%), and San Francisco (10.9%) that posted the largest gains.

The national index gained 1% month-over-month before seasonal adjustment, with a 0.6% gain for the 10-City Composite and 0.8% gain for the 20-City. After seasonal adjustment, the monthly gains were 0.3%, 0.1% and 0.2% respectively.

“The favorable economy and moderate mortgage rates both support recent gains in housing,” says David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.  “One factor pushing prices up is the continued low supply of homes for sale. The months-supply is currently 4.3 months, up from levels below 4 months earlier in the year, but still low.”

 

2006 Peak

2012 Trough

Current

Index

Level

Date

Level

Date

From Peak (%)

Level

From Trough (%)

From Peak (%)

National

184.62

Jul-06

134.00

Feb-12

-27.4%

200.86

49.9%

8.8%

20-City

206.52

Jul-06

134.07

Mar-12

-35.1%

210.17

56.8%

1.8%

10-City

226.29

Jun-06

146.45

Mar-12

-35.3%

223.70

52.7%

-1.1%

 

"Looking back to the peak of the boom in 2006, 10 of the 20 cities tracked by the indices are higher than their peaks; the other ten are below their high points. The National Index is also above its previous all-time high, the 20-city index slightly up versus its peak, and the 10-city is a bit below,” adds Blitzer.

However, he says that adjusted for inflation since 2006, only three cities – Dallas, Denver and Seattle – are ahead in real, or inflation-adjusted, terms.

The National Index is 14% below its boom-time peak and Las Vegas, the city with the longest road to a new high, is 47% below its peak when inflation is factored in.

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