Steady Gains for Home Prices

Home prices showed steady gains in May, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices reported yesterday.

“Home prices continue to appreciate across the country,” said David Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee with S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Overall, housing is doing quite well.” 

But regional home-price patterns are shifting, the report said: “Over the last year, the Pacific Northwest has been quite strong while prices in the previously strong spots of San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles saw more modest increases. The two hottest areas during the housing boom were Florida and the Southwest. Miami and Tampa have recovered in the last few months while Las Vegas and Phoenix remain weak. When home prices began to recover, New York and Washington saw steady price growth; now both are among the weakest areas in the country.”

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, reported a 5 percent annual gain in May, the same as in April. The 10-City Composite posted a 4.4 percent annual increase, down from 4.7 percent the previous month. The 20-City Composite reported a 5.2 percent year-over-year gain, down from 5.4 percent in April.

Before seasonal adjustment, the National Index posted a 1.2 percent month-over-month gain in May. The 10-City Composite recorded a 0.8 percent month-over-month increase and the 20-City Composite posted a 0.9 percent increase in May. 

After seasonal adjustment, the National Index recorded a 0.2 percent month-over-month increase, the 10-City Composite posted a 0.2 percent decrease and the 20-City Composite reported a 0.1 percent month-over-month decrease, the report said. After adjustment, 12 cities saw prices rise, two cities were unchanged, and six cities experienced negative monthly prices changes. 

Portland, Seattle and Denver reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities examined over each of the last four months, the report said. Portland led the way in May with a 12.5 percent year-over-year price increase, followed by Seattle at 10.7 percent and Denver with a 9.5 percent increase. 

Blitzer said in addition to strong prices, sales of existing homes reached the highest monthly level since 2007 as construction of new homes showed continuing gains. “[And] the SCE Housing Expectations Survey published by the New York Federal Reserve Bank shows that consumers expect home prices to continue rising, though at a somewhat slower pace,” he said.