Trulia Inc. has released the latest findings from its Trulia Price Monitor and the Trulia Rent Monitor. These indices are the earliest leading indicators available of trends in home prices and rents. Based on the for-sale homes and rentals listed on Trulia, these monitors take into account changes in the mix of listed homes and reflect trends in prices and rents for similar homes in similar neighborhoods through July 31, 2013.
Asking home prices are now starting to lose steam as mortgage rates rise, inventory expands, and investor demand declines. Nationally, asking prices dropped 0.3 percent in July – the first month-over-month (M-o-M) decline since November 2012. Seasonally adjusted, prices rose 3.3 percent quarter-over-quarter (Q-o-Q), down from a peak of 4.2 percent in April. Year-over-year (Y-o-Y), prices are up 11 percent nationally; however, this change is an average over the past 12 months and is therefore slower to show changes than monthly and quarterly numbers.
In 64 out of 100 U.S. metros, the quarterly asking home price gain was lower than in the previous quarter. This slowdown was most apparent in the West Coast where prices have rebounded strongly already. Among housing markets where asking prices rose sharply Y-o-Y, price gains dipped the most Q-o-Q in Las Vegas, Oakland, and San Francisco. Other California metros, including Sacramento, Ventura County, San Jose, and Fresno, saw Q-o-Q gains drop by at least two percentage points between April and July. Meanwhile, many metros in the South and Midwest are seeing price gains accelerate, such as Atlanta (3.2 percentage points higher in July versus April) and Detroit (3.7 percentage points).
Rents rose 3.9 percent year-over-year nationally, which was a big increase compared with inflation or income growth, but small compared with asking home price gains. Even as asking home prices slow down, July was the first time that prices outpaced rents in the 25 largest rental markets since Trulia started tracking rent trends in March 2011.