The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index registered a 20.4% annualized gain in April, down slightly from the 20.6% growth in March as stubbornly growing home prices finally saw a slight deceleration.
The slowdown in April came after four months of escalation as home prices rose again after a winter lull. The index, which publicly releases data with a two-month lag, is finally showing some evidence of softening homebuyer activity driven by eroding affordability.
“Signs of a tipping point in the housing market toward a greater balance between buyers and sellers are spreading wider, albeit only compared with some of the most competitive conditions seen since the early 2000s,” wrote Selma Hepp, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic, on the company’s blog. “More specifically, there is a buildup in overall active inventory as fewer buyers are rushing to make offers, resulting in an increase in the number of homes that have had price reductions from the original list price.”
April’s data nonetheless showed robust price growth, with the gain still double the pre-pandemic level. Both the 10- and 20-city composite subindices also showed strength, rising year over year by 19.7% and 21.2%, respectively. Hepp noted that the recent trend of secondary markets recording higher price growth continue to boost the 20-city subindex as buyers continue to leave large gateway cities for less expensive markets, especially in the South.
“We continue to observe very broad strength in the housing market, as all 20 cities notched double-digit price increases for the 12 months ended in April,” said Craig J. Lazzara, managing director at S&P DJI. “April’s price increase ranked in the top quintile of historical experience for every city, and in the top decile for 19 of them.”
But signs of slowing growth are emerging. Lazzara observed that, in contrast with the past five months when prices in most cities accelerated, only nine cities saw faster price growth in April than in March. Five of these nine cities — Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Miami and Tampa — are in the South.
Tampa saw the fastest year-over-year price growth at 35.8%, maintaining the top spot for price acceleration for a second straight month. Miami was next at 33.3%, followed by Phoenix (which had led the rankings for several months) at 31.3%.