Housing prices take foot off the gas

by Adam Smith28 Aug 2013

Home prices are still rising, but the some of the heat has come off the market as price gains slow.

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices have revealed that home price appreciation is easing off. While all the cities in the index' 20-City Composites saw gains on a monthly and annual basis, only six cities saw prices rise faster than they did last month.

“Overall, the report shows that housing prices are rising but the pace may be slowing. Thirteen out of
20 cities saw their returns weaken from May to June. As we are in the middle of a seasonal
buying period, we should expect to see the most gains. With interest rates rising to almost 4.6%, home buyers may be discouraged and sharp increases may be dampened," Index Committee chairman David Blitzer said.

Nationwide, prices grew 7.1% in the second quarter and 10.1% over the last four quarters. Home prices are also recovering strongly from previous lows. San Francisco saw the strongest rebound, up 47% from its March 2009 low. Phoenix saw the second-strongest recovery, with prices 37.1% above their September 2011 low.

“The Southwest and California have consistently led the recovery with Las Vegas, Los Angeles,
Phoenix and San Francisco posting at least 15 months of gains. Looking at the cities, New York
recorded its highest monthly return since 2002. Atlanta was up the most at +3.4% and Washington
DC had the lowest return at +1.0%. In terms of annual rates of change, San Francisco lost its
leadership position with Las Vegas showing the highest post-recession gain of 24.9%," Blitzer said.


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