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Home Prices Keep Rising

Phil Hall
Feb 25, 2020
Photo credit: Getty Images/Andrii Yalanskyi

New data reports from the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) have determined home prices ended 2019 in an upward motion that is not showing any signs of reversing.
The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index reported a 3.8 percent annual gain in December, up from 3.5 percent in November. The 10-City Composite saw a 2.4 percent annual increase, compared with the two percent uptick in the previous month, while the 20-City Composite’s 2.9 percent year-over-year gain was up from the 2.5 percent level set in the previous month.
The National Index and the 10-City Composite each posted a month-over-month increase of 0.1 percent before the seasonal adjustment, while the 20-City Composite remained unchanged. After the seasonal adjustment, the National Index posted a month-over-month increase of 0.5 percent, while the 10-City and 20-City Composites each posted 0.4 percent increases. In December, 10 of 20 cities reported increases before the seasonal adjustment while 19 of 20 cities reported increases after the seasonal adjustment. Phoenix had the greatest annual gain among the 20 cities tracked for this report at 6.5 percent.
"The U.S. housing market continued its trend of stable growth in December,” said Craig J. Lazzara, managing director and global head of index investment strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “December’s results bring the National Composite Index to a 3.8 percent increase for calendar 2019. This marks eight consecutive years of increasing housing prices–an increase which is echoed in our 10- and 20-City Composites.
“At the national level,” Lazarra continued, “home prices are 59 percent above the trough reached in February 2012, and 15 percent above their pre-financial crisis peak. Results for 2019 were broad-based, with gains in every city in our 20-City Composite … As was the case last month, after a long period of decelerating price increases, the National, 10-City, and 20-City Composites all rose at a faster rate in December than they had done in November; 12 of our 20 cities likewise saw accelerating prices. It is, of course, too soon to say whether this marks an end to the deceleration or is merely a pause in the longer-term trend.”
Separately, the FHFA reported house prices rose in the fourth quarter of 2019 by 1.3 percent from the third quarter and by 5.1 percent from the fourth quarter of 2018. The FHFA's seasonally adjusted monthly index for December was up 0.6 percent from November. House prices rose in 97 of the top 100 largest metropolitan areas over the last four quarters and have risen for 34 consecutive quarters, or since September 2011.
“Growth in U.S. home prices stabilized at the end of 2019 with fourth quarter prices increasing 5.1 percent from the same period a year ago,” said Lynn Fisher, Deputy Director of the Division of Research and Statistics at the FHFA. “The revised measure of home price growth in the third quarter was also 5.1 percent. Prices in the Mountain region had the highest gains, posting a 6.7 annual growth rate in the fourth quarter.”
FHFA reported house prices rose in the fourth quarter of 2019 by 1.3 percent from the third quarter and by 5.1 percent from the fourth quarter of 2018

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