Home prices climbed to 2009 levels in August, but there are signs that price growth might be losing momentum, according to data released Wednesday by a leading mortgage technology company.
The FNC Residential Price Index gained 0.6% in August, making it the 18th consecutive month of rising home prices. According to FNC, home prices in August hit levels last attained in December of 2009.
“Improving housing market fundamentals, particularly the rapid declines in new foreclosure filings and foreclosure inventory, contributed to the continued strengthening of home prices,” FNC stated in a Wednesday press release.
August foreclosure sales accounted for 12.4% of home sales nationwide that month. That’s down slightly from July’s 12.7%, but down more than 4.5 percentage points from August of 2012, according to FNC.
“However, there are signs that the price momentum has likely subsided entering the fall/winter low season in homebuying,” FNC stated. “The latest September median sales-to-list price ratio edged lower to 96.2 – a 3.8% listing price markdown among closed sales, down from 97.2 in August.”
The August price increase was also smaller than the increases in June and July, according to FNC. Housing prices also showed signs of weakening in some important metro areas.
“While August home prices are up in nearly all the major housing markets tracked by the FNC 30-MSA composite index, Phoenix and Los Angeles began to show first signs of price weakening, where prices were down 0.1% and 0.4%, respectively, from the previous month,” FNC stated. “This softening price trend in Phoenix and Los Angeles – two of the housing market’s most important barometers – emerged after a long streak of rapid price accelerations that averaged more than a 2.0% month-over-month increase.”
San Antonio, on the other hand, recorded the largest month-over-month price increase at 2.1%. Las Vegas came in second, with housing prices climbing another 1.8% in August, marking the 10th consecutive month of rapid price increases in the city.