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Case-Shiller: Home prices slow in April


Home prices continued to cool off nationally and across most major cities during the heart of this year’s homebuying season, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices.

HouseMoneyNationally, home prices posted an annual gain of 3.5% in April. The 10-city and 20-city composite indices increased by 2.3% and 2.5% year over year, respectively. The national index and the 20-city index showed a marginally lower annual gain than in March, while the 10-city composite gain was slightly higher than the 2.2% gain posted in the prior month.

Las Vegas (up 7.1% annually), Phoenix (up 6%) and Tampa (5.6%) saw the highest annual gains in April. Prices were still moving up in most major cities. In Seattle, however, the annual gain has slowed from a high of 13.1% to zero gain as of this April, Case-Shiller reported.

“Home price gains continued in a trend of broad-based moderation,” says Philip Murphy, managing director and global head of index governance at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Year-over-year price gains remain positive in most cities, though at diminishing rates of change.”

Murphy noted that several signs pointed to weaker buyer demand. For example, the cooling off in home prices started when mortgage rates rose to nearly 5 percent late last  year, but prices have continued to slow down even as interest rates have started to fall back. Also, he said, the national inventory of homes for sale has begun to creep up, suggesting weaker demand.  

“Perhaps the trend for the moment is toward normalization around the real long run average annual price increase,” he said.

Over the month of April, 19 of 20 cities tracked by Case-Shiller reported a price gain before seasonal adjustment, while 14 of 20 cities reported increases after seasonal adjustment.


 

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