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Home prices remain flat in January, up solidly year-over-year

Overall home prices declined fractionally in January but are still running solidly ahead of last year’s pace, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.

The national index dropped -0.1 percent, and the 20-city and 10-city indices were essentially flat, Case-Shiller reported Tuesday. Year-over-year, the national index gained 4.5 percent, the company said.

“The combination of low interest rates and strong consumer confidence based on solid job growth, cheap oil and low inflation continue to support further increases in home prices,” David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee for S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in a news release.

Blitzer added, however, that the housing market faces difficulties, such as low housing starts and overall home-construction activity. He also noted that incomes are not keeping up with home prices.

“Home prices are rising roughly twice as fast as wages, putting pressure on potential homebuyers and heightening the risk that any uptick in interest rates could be a major setback,” Blitzer said.

Denver and Miami have had the highest year-over-year price gains at 8.4 percent and 8.3 percent, respectively, but Chicago saw the biggest gain since December at 2.5 percent, according to Case-Shiller. 


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