Local home prices rise 6.6% since last spring

Jackie Newman
June 28, 2017

NEW YORK, June 27 USA single-family home prices accelerated at a slower pace than expected in April, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index reported a 5.5 percent annual gain in April, down from 5.6 percent in March. Home prices nationally rose 5.5 percent on an annualized basis this past April, down from 5.6 percent in March.

April's S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index numbers set a fifth consecutive all-time high - a trend that isn't expected to end in the foreseeable future. "Since demand is exceeding supply and financing is available, there is nothing right now to keep prices from going up", he said in a news release.

The widely tracked 20-city home price index rose 5.7 percent from April 2016. After the seasonal adjustment, the National Index and the 10-City Composite each recorded a 0.2 percent month-over-month increase and the 20-City Composite posted a 0.3 percent month-over-month increase.

David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said the April increase in prices shows demand for homes is rising but the supply of homes has hardly kept up.

Delving into details, out of 20 cities covered in the report, 15 recorded positive monthly home price growth. "Adding to price pressures, mortgage rates remain close to four and affordability is not a significant issue". Seattle (12.9 percent), Portland (9.3 percent) and Dallas (8.4 percent) experienced the sharpest annual gains, closely followed by Denver.

Their data says that rental single-family homes have grown by 45 percent since 2000, especially just south of the Seattle city limits.

Housing market observers have long speculated a looming increase in mortgage rates could slow demand, in turn putting the brakes on home prices. "For the moment, conditions appear favorable for avoiding a crash". First American's index factors in changes in incomes and mortgage rates. Housing starts are increasing, foreclosure levels are low and household debt levels are manageable. "Price gains are only likely to be subdued if we see a deterioration of demand as a result rising interest rates at some point this year". And it marked the metropolitan area's slowest year-over-year price growth since September.

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