Home Price Gains Accelerate, for Now

Home Price Gains Accelerate, for Now
Home Price Gains Accelerate, for Now

02 March, 2017

The regional index of home prices, adjusted for seasonal swings, was up 5.4 percent in December compared to a year ago.

The 10-City Composite posted a 4.9% annual increase, up from 4.4% the previous month.

The Standard&Poor's CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index increased by 0.9% month-on-month in December, pushing the year-on-year rate of price gains from 5.6% in November to 5.8% for December.

The strongest annual increase was recorded in Seattle at 10.8% with Portland at 10.0%. Steady job gains and growing consumer confidence have encouraged more people to take the plunge and look for a home.

"In comparing current home price movements to history, it is necessary to adjust for inflation", Blitzer continues. "If anything, the latest data suggest acceleration". "Home prices are rising, but the speed is not alarming".

While San Diego's increase was still higher than many major cities - Chicago, Phoenix and others - it was below year-over-year jumps at the start of 2016. He said that some people might naturally assume that prices are rising too quickly for a normal market and "could be heading for a fall", but he argued against that.

"I think 5.4 percent is sustainable rate of appreciation", Goldman said, "in contrast to 10 to 12 percent per year".

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Investing.com had forecast a 0.7% MoM seasonally adjusted increase and 5.3% YoY nonseasonally adjusted for the 20-city series.

A number of markets that have seen prices grow modestly since the recession are starting to see much faster rates of increase than they had in the recent past.

After seasonal adjustment, the national index rose 0.7% month-over-month, while both the 10-city and 20-city index rose 0.9% month-over month. That exceeds the average pace of 1.3 percent, but is within a normal range, Blitzer said.

The median home price in San Diego County was $495,000 in December, CoreLogic said.

On Monday, the National Association of Realtors released a separate report unexpectedly showing a steep drop in pending home sales in the month of January.

The moderation in United States bond yields has halted the increase in mortgage rates which should provide some further support to the housing sector and low inventory levels will also support prices in the short term. That combined with the fact that prices have risen faster than incomes could pose challenges to the market later this year, economists said.

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