Home price gains slow down in 20 top U.S. cities

by MPA25 Nov 2014
Home price gains in 20 U.S. cities cooled off in the 12 months through September as the housing market continued to make gradual progress, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released this morning.

"The overall trend in home price increases continues to slow down," said David Blitzer, managing director and hairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

The 20-City Composite gained 4.9% year-over-year, compared to 5.6% in August and the 10-City Composite gained 4.8% year-over-year, down from 5.5% in August. The national and composite Indices were both slightly negative in September. Both the 10- and 20-city composites reported a slight downturn while the National Index posted a -0.1% change for the month. Charlotte and Miami led all cities in September with increases of 0.6%. Atlanta and Washington D.C. offset those gains by reporting decreases of 0.3% and 0.4%.

The National Index also showed a month-over-month decrease for the first time since November 2013. The Northeast region reported its first negative monthly returns since December 2013 and its worst annual returns since December 2012 due to weaknesses in Washington D.C. and Boston. The West and Southwest, previously strong regions, are seeing price gains fade. The only region showing any sustained strength is the Southeast led by Florida; price gains are also evident in Atlanta and Charlotte, said Blitzer.

The 10- and 20-city composites continued their year-over-year downward trend, gaining 4.8% and 4.9% compared to last month’s year-over-year gains of 5.6%. Las Vegas, which has shown double-digit annual gains, posted an annual return of 9.1%, its first time below 10% since October 2012.

Miami, however, continues to impress with another double digit annual gain of 10.3%. It is the only city that currently has a year-over-year double digit gain. Charlotte was the only city in September to show an annual increase relative to last month. Eighteen of the 20 cities reported slower annual gains compared to last month.

"Other housing statistics paint a mixed to slightly positive picture," said Blitzer. "Housing starts held above one million at annual rates on gains in single family homes, sales of existing homes are gaining, builders’ sentiment is improving, foreclosures continue to be worked off and mortgage default rates are at pre-crisis levels. With the economy looking better than a year ago, the housing outlook for 2015 is stable to slightly better."

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