June Home Price Hikes Moderate Slightly

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The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index rose 6.2% year over year in June to a non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) index of 204.48. That’s 0.2 percentage points lower than the month-over-month increase posted in May.

In 19 U.S. cities included in the 20-city home price index, June house prices increased year over year, and 19 also posted NSA month-over-month increases. Las Vegas (up 13%), Seattle (up 12.8%) and San Francisco (up 10.7%) posted the largest year-over-year gains. Las Vegas (up 1.4%) also posted the largest month-over-month increase, followed by Cleveland, Detroit and Minneapolis, all up 1.0%.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller NSA home price indexes for June increased by 6.3% year-over-year for the 20-city composite index and by 6% for the 10-city composite index. Economists had estimated an NSA year-over-year gain in the 20-city index of 6.5%.

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

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

David M. Blitzer, the chair of the S&P index committee, said:

Home prices continue to rise across the U.S. However, even as home prices keep climbing, we are seeing signs that growth is easing in the housing market. Sales of both new and existing homes are roughly flat over the last six months amidst news stories of an increase in the number of homes for sale in some markets. Rising mortgage rates – 30 year fixed rate mortgages rose from 4% to 4.5% since January – and the rise in home prices are affecting housing affordability.

The west still leads the rise in home prices with Las Vegas displacing Seattle as the market with the fastest price increase. Population and employment growth often drive homes prices. Las Vegas is among the fastest growing U.S. cities based on both employment and population, with its unemployment rate dropping below the national average in the last year. The northeast and mid-west are seeing smaller home price increases. Washington, Chicago and New York City showed the three slowest annual price gains among the 20 cities covered.

Compared to their peak in the summer of 2006, home prices have now achieved parity on the 10-city index. On the 20-city index, home prices are now 3.2% higher. Since the low of March 2012, home prices are up 54.6% and 58.9% on the 10-city and 20-city indexes, respectively. On the national index, home prices are now 10.8% above the July 2006 peak and 52.6% higher than their low-point in February 2012.