March Home Prices Rise Most in Portland, Seattle, Denver

In all 20 U.S. cities included in the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, March house prices increased year over year, and all 20 also posted a month-over-month increase. Portland (up 12.3%), Seattle (up 10.8%) and Denver (up 10%) posted the largest year-over-year gains. Seattle (up 2.4%) and San Francisco (up 2.3%) posted the largest month-over-month price increases, compared with February.

March prices were flat in New York, up 0.1% in Cleveland and up 0.3% in Phoenix, the cities posting the smallest gains month over month.

The smallest year-over-year gains came in Washington, D.C. (up 1.5%), Chicago (up 1.9%) and New York (up 2.7%).

The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index for March increased by 5.4% year over year for the 20-city composite index and by 4.7% for the 10-city composite index. The national index fell to 5.2% year over year, down from 5.3% in February. The 20-city index remained unchanged with a 4.7% increase in both February and March, and the 10-city index also remained unchanged at an increase of 5.4%.

The index tracks prices on a three-month rolling average. March represents the three-month average of January, February and March prices.

Before seasonal adjustment, the month-over-month National Index, 10-City Composite and 20-City Composite posted gains of 0.7%, 0.8% and 0.9%, respectively. After seasonal adjustment, the month-over-month gains were 0.1% on the National Index, 0.8% on the 10-city index and 0.9% on the 20-city index.

Average home prices for January remain comparable to their levels in the winter of 2007.

The chairman of the S&P index committee said:

Home prices are continuing to rise at a 5% annual rate, a pace that has held since the start of 2015. The economy is supporting the price increases with improving labor markets, falling unemployment rates and extremely low mortgage rates. Another factor behind rising home prices is the limited supply of homes on the market. The number of homes currently on the market is less than two percent of the number of households in the U.S., the lowest percentage seen since the mid-1980s.

Compared with their peak in the summer of 2006, home prices on both 10-city and 20-city indexes remain down about 10.5% to 12.5%. Since the low of March 2012, home prices are up 35.7% and 37.6% on the 10-city and 20-city indexes, respectively.

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