Latest data suggests a sustained slowdown in US property prices in main cities

Taylor Scott International News

There has been a sustained slowdown in residential real estate prices in major US cities, according to the most recent published data from the S&P/Case-Shiller home price indices. The 10 city and 20 city composites each a slowdown with annual returns of 6.7% in July, falling from the previous month’s 8.1% and 8% annual returns, respectively. Nineteen of the 20 metropolitan area indices saw year on year returns worsen, despite continuing to post annual increases, ranging from 0.9% growth in Cleveland to 12.8% growth in Las Vegas, compared to July 2013. Miami and San Francisco were the only other metro indexes that surpassed 10% year on year increases in home prices, posting gains of 11% and 10.3%, respectively. On a month on month basis, just three of the 20 metropolitan areas posted a positive change in seasonally adjusted home prices, while three had no change and the remaining 14 dropped month over month. Las Vegas, Dallas and Charlotte in North Carolina each had positive growth rates in seasonally adjusted home prices compared to June, ranging from 0.1% to 0.3% growth. At the other end of the scale, Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit and San Francisco saw the largest decreases month on month, ranging from growth rates of negative 1% to falls of 1.6%. ‘The broad based deceleration in home prices continued in the most recent data,’ said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones, but pointed out that despite the dropping growth rates, 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. The rise in August new home sales, which are not covered by the S&P/Case-Shiller indices, is a welcome exception to recent trends,’ he explained. Sales of new single family homes in August increased month on month and year on year, according to the most recent data released jointly by the US Census Bureau and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. The seasonally adjusted annual sales rate for new single family homes in August was 504,000, 18.0% above the revised July rate of 427,000, and 33.0% above the August 2013 estimate of 379,000. Three of the four regions saw a rise in new home sales on a month on month basis, with the West representing the largest growth since July, posting a 50% increase to a rate of 153,000 units sold. The West’s year on year increase of 84.3% from the 83,000 annualized new home sales rate in August 2013 was more than triple the annual growth of any other region. The Northeast saw a large gain in new home sales month on month, with an August annual rate of 31,000 homes, a 29.2% increase from July. The region’s year on year performance, however, fell 3.1% from the 32,000 unit sales rate the previous year. The South’s pace of 262,000 new homes sold in August represented a 27.2%… Continue reading →

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