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Yes, Home Prices Are Up Again

Phil Hall
Nov 28, 2017
It was a November to remember for new home sales, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development

The latest data from the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices reported what has become the most obvious news story of the year: U.S. home prices are still rising.
The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index reported a 6.2 percent annual gain in September, up from 5.9 percent in the previous month. The 10-City Composite annual increase was 5.7 percent, up from 5.2 percent in the previous month, while the 20-City Composite saw a 6.2 percent year-over-year gain, up from 5.8 percent in August.
Thirteen cities reported greater price increases in the year ending September compared to the year ending August. The greatest year-over-year gains came in Seattle (up 12.9 percent), followed by Las Vegas (up nine percent) and San Diego (up 8.2 percent).
Before factoring in the seasonal adjustment, the National Index posted a month-over-month gain of 0.4 percent in September, while the 10-City and 20-City Composites reported increases of 0.5 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. After the seasonal adjustment, the National Index recorded a 0.7 percent month-over-month increase in September, while the 10-City and 20-City Composites posted 0.6 percent and 0.5 percent month-over-month increases, respectively. Fifteen of the 20 cities analyzed for this data survey reported increases in September before the seasonal adjustment, while all 20 cities reported increases after the seasonal adjustment.
“Home prices were higher in all 20 cities tracked by these indices compared to a year earlier; 16 cities saw annual price increases accelerate from last month,” said David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Strength continues to be concentrated in the west with Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego and Portland seeing the largest gains. The smallest increases were in Atlanta, New York, Miami, Chicago and Washington. Eight cities have surpassed their pre-financial crisis peaks.”
More affirmation of the continued rise in home prices came from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which found prices up 1.4 percent in the third quarter from the second quarter and up 6.5 percent from one year earlier. FHFA's seasonally adjusted monthly index for September was up 0.3 percent from August. Prices were up in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and in each of the largest 100 metro areas over the last four quarters.
"With relatively favorable economic conditions and a continued shortage of housing supply, price increases in the third quarter were generally robust and widespread," said Andrew Leventis, FHFA’s Deputy Chief Economist. "At some point, declining housing affordability should temper appreciation rates in some of the nation's fastest appreciating markets, but our third quarter results show few signs of that." 

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