Home prices up again as the West leads

by Steve Randall25 Apr 2018

Cities in the West, led by Seattle, Las Vegas, and San Francisco, drove a further increase in home prices in February according to a leading index.

The S&P CoreLogic Case Shiller NSA Index, which covers all 9 census areas, was up 6.3% year-over-year from 6.1% in January. There was a 6.5% rise for the 10-City Composite (up from 6% in January) and a 6.8% rise in the 20-City Composite (from 6.4%).

“Year-over-year prices measured by the National index have increased continuously for the past 70 months, since May 2012,” said David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Over that time, the price increases averaged 6% per year. This run, which is still ongoing, compares to the previous long run from January 1992 to February 2007, 182 months, when prices averaged 6.1% annually.”

The largest gains were in Seattle (12.7%), Las Vegas (11.6%) and San Francisco (10.1%). Thirteen of the 20 cities reported greater price increases in the year ending February 2018 versus the year ending January 2018.

Blitzer says that rising home prices locally and nationally are supported by increasing employment, but while Seattle tops gains for both home prices and employment, and there are similar correlations in the overall rankings, California is outpacing expectation.

“In San Francisco and Los Angeles, home price gains ranked much higher than would be expected from their employment increases, indicating that California home prices continue to rise faster than might be expected. In contrast, Miami home prices experienced some of the smaller increases despite better than average employment gains,” he said.

He concluded that the current run of rising prices is likely to continue with forecast gains for the economy and employment.

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