San Francisco Home Price Increase Falls to 2-Year Low

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The only U.S. city to post a month-over-month house-price decrease in July was San Francisco, where prices dropped 0.4% compared with June. That is the largest decline in home price growth in San Francisco since February of 2012.

The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index for July increased by 0.6% for both the 20-city and the 10-city composite indexes. The national index rose 0.5% year-over-year, and 19 of the 20 cities in the survey posted lower annual returns in July. Year over year, the national index rose 5.6% and the 10- and 20-city indexes rose 6.7%. The consensus estimate for month-over-month seasonally adjusted growth was 0.1%, and the year-over-year estimate called for growth of 7.5% in the 20-city index.

The index tracks prices on a three-month rolling average. July represents the three-month average of May, June and July prices.

Average home prices for July are back at their levels in the spring of 2005.

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Compared with their peak in the summer of 2006, home prices on both indexes remain down about 16% to 17%. Since the low of March 2012, home prices are up 27.8% to 28.5% on the 10- and 20-city indexes, respectively.

All 20 cities in the index posted year-over-year gains, all also experienced a slowdown in year-over-year growth rates. Some, like San Francisco, saw large drops in the rate of price increases, while Cleveland was unchanged and most gains ranged from 0.1% to 1.1%.

The chairman of the S&P index committee said:

The broad-based deceleration in home prices continued in the most recent data. However, home prices continue to rise at two to three times the rate of inflation. The slower pace of home price appreciation is consistent with most of the other housing data on housing starts and home sales. … While the year-over-year figures are trending downward, home prices are still rising month-to-month although at a slower rate than what we are used to seeing over the past couple of years.

The largest year-over-year price increase was 12.8%, in Las Vegas. Miami with a growth rate of 11% and San Francisco at 10.8% are the only other cities with double-digit growth in July. However, all 20 cities posted year-over-year gains.

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