Single-family home prices across the country beat forecasts but still showed signs of sluggishness in January, according to one of the industry’s leading home price indices.
The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, released Tuesday, showed a 0.8 percent seasonally adjusted month-over-month improvement in January, topping the 0.7 percent gain forecast in a poll of economist conducted by Reuters.
On an unadjusted basis, the 20-city composite index posted its third monthly decline at -0.1 percent. The 10-city index ticked up a negligible amount, meanwhile.
“The housing recovery may have taken a breather due to the cold weather,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
Compared to December, 12 cities across the nation reported price declines (unadjusted), with eight performing worse than they did at the end of 2013. Chicago and Seattle declined the most (-1.2 percent and -0.8 percent, respectively), posting their fourth straight month each of depreciation.
On an annual basis, the 10- and 20-city composites reported increases of 13.5 percent and 13.2 percent, respectively, representing a step back from the 13.6 percent and 13.4 percent annual growth rates recorded in December.
All cities on the 20-market composite saw growth, though S&P reports 12 of them saw their annual rates worsen.
Las Vegas and San Francisco remained the only two metros to post annual gains exceeding 20 percent; prices in those cities were up 24.9 percent and 23.1 percent, respectively. San Diego showed the most improvement compared to December’s rate of growth, recording a year-over-year return of 19.4 percent versus 18.0 percent previously.
Despite the slowdown, Blitzer says recent data point to continued gains throughout 2014.
“Although most analysts do not expect the same rapid increases we saw last year, the consensus is for moderating gains,” he said.
The Case-Shiller Indices are the second of three major January price reports scheduled this week; Black Knight Financial Services’ monthly report, released Monday, recorded no change month-over-month and an 8 percent increase year-over-year.
Raj Dosaj, VP of behavioral models and HPI for Black Knight Data & Analytics, noted at the time that the company’s index isn’t impacted as strongly by seasonal effects, leading to differences in the data.