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Home prices continue cooling pattern

Home prices cooled off nationwide and in most major cities in November, and prices were falling in some of the nation’s most expensive housing markets out West, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index.

pricbubbleNationally, home prices were up 5.2 percent year over year in November and rose 0.1 percent compared to October, the S&P Dow Jones indices reported.

The 10-city and 20-city composite indices each declined by 0.1 percent from October to November. Year-over-year, the 10-city index rose by 4.3 percent and the 20-city index rose by 4.7 percent.

Without making seasonal adjustments, prices declined in nine of the 20 cities tracked by S&P Dow Jones. These included Chicago, Cleveland, San Francisco and Seattle (all down 0.7 percent); San Diego (down 0.6 percent); Portland, Oregon (down 0.5 percent); Detroit (down 0.4 percent); Denver (down 0.3 percent); and Minneapolis (down 0.2 percent).

With seasonal adjustments included, prices fell in San Francisco (down 0.5 percent); Seattle (down 0.3 percent); and Cleveland (down 0.1 percent).   

Year-over-year, home prices rose at the highest rates in Las Vegas (up 12 percent), Phoenix (up 8.1 percent) and Seattle (up 6.3 percent). Compared to the prior month, New York City and Tampa, Florida, had the highest increases at 0.4 percent.

Home prices were cooling off around the country. Just five metros posted an annual home-price gain exceeding 6 percent.  

“Home prices are still rising, but more slowly than in recent months,” said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

“The pace of price increases are being dampened by declining sales of existing homes and weaker affordability," Blitzer said, noting that home sales peaked a year earlier in November 2017 and have been sliding ever since.

National Association of Realtors (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said he expected price growth to continue to slow as the inventories of homes increase. Yun did not expect the median price of a U.S. house to fall. He said there remains a lack of moderately priced homes for sale, and strong jobs gains should keep demand for homes high, and values rising.    

“In 2019, home prices in many markets look to trail income growth for the first time since 2012," Yun said. "That is a healthy development of keeping housing affordability in check.”

All of Case-Shiller’s indices show that home prices now exceed their previous peak during the summer of 2006. Case-Shiller’s national index was 11.5 percent higher than in 2006, while the 10-city and 20-city indices were 0.5 percent and 3.5 percent higher, respectively.  


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