Home Prices Surge in Phoenix

Paul Ausick

U.S. home prices are still rising, but the pace of growth continues to slow, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index (not seasonally adjusted) for August that was released Tuesday. The year-over-year increase of 3.2% was 0.1 percentage points above the July increase.

Home prices jumped by 6.3% year over year in Phoenix, the largest increase by far among those in the index’s 20-city composite group. Prices rose 4.5% in Charlotte and 4.3% in Tampa. San Francisco was the only one of the 20 cities to post a year-over-year price decline, and that was just 0.1 percentage points.

On a non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) basis, the national index rose by 0.2%, while the 10-city and 20-city indexes were flat month over month. Seasonally adjusted, the 20-city index rose by 2% and the 10-city index rose by 1.5%. The consensus economists’ estimate called for the 20-city average home price to rise by 2.5% year over year unadjusted and to fall by 0.1% month over month adjusted.

Among all U.S. cities included in the August 20-city home price index, 15 posted NSA month-over-month price increases. Only San Francisco (down 0.5%), New York (down 0.4%), Seattle (down 0.3%), San Diego (down 0.2%) and Denver (down 0.2%) posted declines.

Philip Murphy, Managing Director and Global Head of Index Governance at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said, “The U.S. National Home Price NSA Index trend remained intact with a year-over-year price change of 3.2%. However, a shift in regional leadership may be underway beneath the headline national index. Phoenix saw an increase in its YOY price change to 6.3% and retained its leading position. However, Las Vegas dropped from number two to number eight among the cities of the 20-City Composite, falling from a 4.7% YOY change in July to only 3.3% in August. Meanwhile, the Southeast region included three of the top four cities. Charlotte, Tampa, and Atlanta all recorded solid YOY performance with price changes of 4.5%, 4.3%, and 4.0%, respectively. In the Northwest, Seattle’s YOY change turned positive (0.7%) after three consecutive months of negative YOY price changes.”

Mortgage loan rates increased slightly to 3.86% Tuesday morning, according to Mortgage News Daily.