U.S home prices continue to climb in January : Case-Shiller

S&P Dow Jones Indices released the latest results for the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices  for January 2017 shows that home prices continued their rise across the country over the last 12 months.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, reported a 5.9% annual gain in January, up from 5.7% last month and setting a 31-month high. The 10-City Composite posted a 5.1% annual increase, up from 4.8% the previous month.

The 20-City Composite reported a year-over-year gain of 5.7%, up from 5.5% in December. Seattle, Portland, and Denver reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities over each of the last 12 months. In January, Seattle led the way with an 11.3% year-over-year price increase, followed by Portland with 9.7%, and Denver with a 9.2% increase.

Twelve cities reported greater price increases in the year ending January 2017 versus the year ending December 2016. The below charts compare year-over-year returns for Seattle and Portland with different ranges of housing prices (tiers). Tier level analysis from 2011 to present for both Seattle and Portland’s yearover-year returns show housing prices in the high tier to be the most stable, while housing prices in the low tier are the most volatile.

Before seasonal adjustment, the National Index posted a month-over-month gain of 0.2% in January. The 10-City Composite posted a 0.3% increase and the 20-City Composite reported a 0.2% increase in January. After seasonal adjustment, the National Index recorded a 0.6% month-over-month increase, while both the 10-City and 20-City Composites each reported a 0.9% month-over-month increase. Thirteen of 20 cities reported increases in January before seasonal adjustment; after seasonal adjustment, 19 cities saw prices rise.

“Housing and home prices continue on a generally positive upward trend,” says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The recent action by the Federal Reserve raising the target for the Fed funds rate by a quarter percentage point is expected to add less than a quarter percentage point to mortgage rates in the near future. Given the market’s current strength and the economy, the small increase in interest rates isn’t expected to dampen home buying. If we see three or four additional increases this year, rising mortgage rates could become concern.

“While prices vary month-to-month and across the country, the national price trend has been positive since the first quarter of 2012. In February, the inventory of homes in the market represented 3.7 months of sales, lower than the long-term average of six months. Tight supplies and rising prices may be deterring some people from trading up to a larger house, further aggravating supplies because fewer people are selling their homes. The prices also hurt affordability as higher prices and mortgage rates shrink the number of households that can afford to buy at current price levels. At some point, this process will force prices to level off and decline – however we don’t appear to be there yet.”

Source: S&P Dow Jones Indices.

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