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Home-price growth slows in most major cities

U.S. home-price growth slowed in August and four high-priced markets in the West saw prices decline, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices reported.

San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon, all saw prices decline from the July level. Seattle home prices fell for the second consecutive month, declining by 1.6 percent from the July level without making a seasonal adjustment, Case-Shiller reported. Seattle’s home prices also fell 0.5 percent in July.

mortrate(1)Home prices fell in August over the month by 0.5 percent in San Diego; 0.3 percent in San Francisco; and 0.1 percent in Portland.

On a year-over-year basis, however, Seattle still posted the third strongest home-price growth, at 9.6 percent. Only Las Vegas (13.9 percent) and San Francisco (10.6 percent) had stronger annual growth in home prices in August, according to Case-Shiller.

Case-Shiller’s national index rose 5.8 percent annually in August, down from 6 percent in July. The 10-city and 20-city indices also slowed to annual gains of 5.1 percent (down from 5.5 percent in July) and 5.5 percent (down from 5.9 percent), Case-Shiller reported.

Over the month, the 10-city and 20-city indices were unchanged from July without seasonal adjustment, whereas the national index rose by 0.2 percent. Prices accelerated on a year-over-year basis in just four cities.

“Following reports that home sales are flat to down, price gains are beginning to moderate,” said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. He said the price declines are a reflection of a general slowing market.

“Prices and sales of new single-family homes are weakening, housing starts are mixed and residential fixed investment is down in the last three quarters,” Blitzer said. “Rising prices may be pricing some potential homebuyers out of the market, especially when combined with mortgage rates approaching 5 percent for [a] 30-year fixed rate.” Blitzer said the market is showing no signs of collapsing, however.

Last week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that the price of homes purchased with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans rose by 6.1 percent year over year in August. Prices rose at the fastest annual clip in the Mountain region at 8.4 percent.

Attom Data Solutions recently reported that home prices accelerated during the third quarter in 76 of 150 metros it tracks, including California’s Bay Area and Silicon Valley. The median U.S. home price of $256,000 was up just 4.8 percent compared to the third quarter of 2017, the slowest rate of appreciation in more than two years. 


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