The CoreLogic S&P Case-Shiller Index, which measures U.S. home price growth, inched upward on a year-over-year basis in July, climbing by 1% to halt three months of flat or negative growth.
The national index was essentially unchanged in June after declines in April and May. Home prices, which began heating up despite lagging sales activity, due to scant supply in the resale market, are now up by a cumulative 6% since their recent trough in January and are up 1% from July 2022.
“We have previously noted that home prices peaked in June 2022 and fell through January 2023, declining by 5% in those seven months,” said Craig J. Lazzara, managing director at S&P DJI. “The increase in prices that began in January has now erased the earlier decline, so that July represents a new all-time high for the national composite.
“On a year-to-date basis, the national composite has risen 5.3%, which is well above the median full calendar-year increase in more than 35 years of data,” he added.
With the data reported at a lag and recent market headwinds in the form of the heightened interest rate environment, positive price momentum from prior quarters looks to be leveling out.
“After a strong, 5% cumulative U.S. home price gain since the early spring, monthly increases are plateauing to a seasonal average, which reflects the pressure that higher mortgage rates have put on affordability,” said Selma Hepp, chief economist at CoreLogic. “As a result of the early 2023 growth, annual price appreciation should accelerate in the coming months before slowing again.”
July’s price recovery was broad-based, as reflected in annualized rebounds in the 10-city and 20-city composite subindexes. The 10-city index was up 0.9%, compared to a loss of 0.5% one month prior, while the 20-city index rose 0.1%, compared to a decline of 1.2% in June. On a seasonally adjusted basis, prices rose month over month in each of the 20 cities in the Case-Shiller sample. Ten of the 20 cities tracked by the index reached all-time high index readings in July.
“That said, regional differences continue to be striking,” Lazzara said. “On a year-over-year basis, the Revenge of the Rust Belt continues. The three best-performing metropolitan areas in July were Chicago (+4.4%), Cleveland (+4%) and New York (+3.8%), repeating the ranking we saw in May and June. The bottom of the leaderboard reshuffled somewhat, with Las Vegas (-7.2%) and Phoenix (-6.6%) this month’s worst performers.”
Moreover, each of the cities that reached all-time price peaks in July are in the Eastern and Central time zones. The Midwest region (which was up 3.2% in July) and the Northeast (up 2.3%) remain the strongest census regions when it comes to price growth, while the West (down 3.8%) continues to lag.