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Home-price gains moderate as market slows

Fast-growing Las Vegas took the top spot in June from Seattle as the metro with the fastest-rising home prices, but the housing market overall showed signs of slowing down at the start of this summer, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices.

Nationally, home prices rose annually by 6.2 percent in June, down from 6.4 percent in May, Case-Shiller reported. The 10-city and 20-city price indices rose by 6 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively, both down 20 basis points from the May pace.

houseinventory(1)Over the month of June, home prices rose by 30 basis points seasonally adjusted, and the 10-city and 20-city composite indices were up by just 10 basis points, according to Case-Shiller. Almost every major city saw prices move up in June, but generally at a slower clip than in May.  

Prices have cooled off in the wake of an uptick in listings, flat existing sales and also rising mortgage rates, said David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

“Even as home prices keep climbing, we are seeing signs that growth is easing in the housing market,” Blitzer said. "Sales of both new and existing homes were roughly flat over the last six months amidst news stories of an increase in the number of homes for sale in some markets."

Increasing mortgage rates, up half a percentage point since the beginning of the year, as well as rising home prices are impacting affordability, Blitzer added.

Las Vegas had the highest annual price growth at 13 percent, displacing Seattle, which held the top spot for nearly two years. Seattle remained No. 2 in the recent report, with 12.8 percent annual growth, followed by San Francisco at 10.7 percent. On the other end of the spectrum, Washington, D.C., Chicago and New York City showed the slowest annual gains.

Cooling home prices should give the housing market a boost, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

"Modest increases in new home building and stability in inventory levels are leading to a deceleration in price gains in some markets," said Paul Bishop, NAR's vice president of Research. "Price gains more in line with wage gains would be a positive development."


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