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Guess What? Home Prices Are Still Rising

Phil Hall
May 30, 2017
Home sale prices in December inched up by 1.2 percent from one year ago to a median of $289,800, according to new data from Redfin

Two leading data sources are reconfirming the seemingly endless ascension of home prices.
 
The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index set a 33-month high with a 5.8 percent annual gain in March, up from 5.7 percent in February. The 10-City Composite and the 20-City Composite indices for March came in at 5.2 percent and 5.9 percent annual increases, respectively, an unchanged level from the previous month.
 
Before the seasonal adjustment, the National Index posted a month-over-month gain of 0.8 percent in March while the 10-City Composite posted a 0.9 percent increase and the 20-City Composite reported a percent increase. After the seasonal adjustment, the National Index recorded a 0.3 percent month-over-month increase while both the 10-City Composite and the 20-City Composite indices posted a 0.9 percent month-over-month. Eighteen of the 20 cities tracked for this data report saw increases in March before the seasonal adjustment, and 17 cities saw prices rise after the seasonal adjustment.
 
“Over the last year, analysts suggested that one factor pushing prices higher was the unusually low inventory of homes for sale,” said David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “People are staying in their homes longer rather than selling and trading up. If mortgage rates, currently near four percent, rise further, this could deter more people from selling and keep pressure on inventories and prices. While prices cannot rise indefinitely, there is no way to tell when rising prices and mortgage rates will force a slowdown in housing.”
 
Separately, Black Rock Financial Services reported that its Home Price Index reported a 1.3 percent month-over-month increase and a 5.8 percent year-over-year increase in March, with the
$272,000 median home price reaching a new peak. Washington led the states in appreciation for the second consecutive month, with home prices there rising 2.2 percent from February, while the metro areas with the greatest monthly appreciation were San Jose at 2.6 percent and Seattle at 2.4 percent.

 
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