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Industry Reacts: Home Price Appreciation Is Slowing

homesHome price gains have continued to slow, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index (HPI). Nationally, home prices rose 3.7% year over year in March 2019, down from February’s 3.9% growth. The Index’s 20-City Composite posted a 2.7% year-over-year gain, down from 3.0% in the previous month.

Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Tampa reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities. In March, Las Vegas led the way with an 8.2% year-over-year price increase, followed by Phoenix with a 6.1% increase, and Tampa with a 5.3% increase. Four of the 20 cities reported greater price increases in the year ending March 2019 versus the year ending February 2019.

“Home price gains continue to slow,” says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The patterns seen in the last year or more continue: year over year price gains in most cities are consistently shrinking. Double-digit annual gains have vanished.”

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.com, also noted the slowdown from double-digit to single-digit gains.

"Case Shiller prices increased from a year ago, but at a slower pace than we saw earlier in the year,” Hale said. “Data for March showed that prices increased between 2.3% and 3.9% with the 10- and 20-city indices posting slower growth than the nationwide index, consistent with our observations of more inventory growth and diminishing buyer demand in many major housing markets. The data also shows the growing gap between asking prices, which have largely maintained momentum, and sales prices which are clearly slowing.”

Hale notes that the two hottest markets are out west, and the third hottest is in the south: Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Tampa.

Dr. Ralph McLaughlin, Deputy Chief Economist and Executive of Research and Insights at CoreLogic, noted what the latest HPI’s data means for the housing market.

“The U.S. housing market moderation has now lasted a year, driven by considerable slowing in the nation’s most expensive markets,” McLaughlin stated. “While the slowdown is most pronounced in these areas, all of the 20-city markets are slowing, suggesting the cooldown has broken from its confines in the West. However, with the 10-year treasury falling, we can expect mortgage rates to continue to decline this spring. This should help to take the cold edge off what has otherwise been a market slow to thaw from the winter months.”

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a contributing writer for DS News. He is a Harding University graduate with a degree in English and a minor in writing, and has studied abroad in Athens, Greece. An East Texas native, he also works part-time as a photographer.
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