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The Geographic “Flip-Flop” in Home Price Growth

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices reported a  3.2% annual gain in July, remaining the same from the previous month. The 10- City Composite annual increase came in at 1.6%, down from 1.9% in the previous month. The 20-City Composite posted a 2.0% year-over-year gain, down from 2.2% in the previous month. Phoenix, Las Vegas and Charlotte reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities. In July, Phoenix led the way with a 5.8% year-over-year price increase, followed by Las Vegas with a 4.7% increase, and Charlotte with a 4.6% increase. Seven of the 20 cities reported greater price increases in the year ending July 2019 versus the year ending June 2019. 

“Year-over-year home prices continued to gain, but at ever more modest rates,” says Philip Murphy, Managing Director and Global Head of Index Governance at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Charlotte surpassed Tampa to join the top three cities, and Seattle may be turning around from its recent negative streak of YOY price changes, improving from -1.3% in June to -0.06% in July. 

“The geographic flip-flop of home price growth has cemented itself strongly across the country,” said Dr. Ralph B. McLaughlin, Deputy Chief Economist and Executive of Research and Insights for CoreLogic. “Pacific markets are now making up a majority of housing markets with the lowest price growth, while second-tier markets in the South and Midwest continue to lead the country. This is a result of years of unprecedented yet unsustainable growth along the West Coast, combined with stubbornly solid economic growth that is benefitting areas initially left out of the recovery from the Great Recession.”

“The summer’s low mortgage rates proved attractive to buyers, especially families, meshing with a buoyant consumer optimism and leading to rising sales,” said George Ratiu, realtor.com Senior Economist. “As prices continued marching upward in top cities, homebuyers expanded their search to more affordable options, leading to solid growth in southwestern and southeastern markets, such as Phoenix, Las Vegas, Tampa, and Charlotte. In addition to mid-sized metros, young homebuyers contributed to the current suburban renaissance, where lifestyle amenities are matched by higher affordability. For home shoppers, this week presents a golden window of buying opportunity when less competition meets price reductions and improved inventory.”

“Growth in home prices, as measured by the Case-Shiller Home Price Index, is beginning to stabilize in July,” Tian Liu, Chief Economist. “The more than 100 basis point decrease in mortgage rates since November has had a significant impact on the housing market by boosting purchasing power of buyers and reviving home sales.  That extra purchasing power has already reduced inventory in the national housing market. Historically, tighter supply has been a good indicator of determining the direction of home price growth.”

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a Reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Harding University, he has covered numerous topics across the real estate and default servicing industries. Additionally, he has written B2B marketing copy for Dallas-based companies such as AT&T. An East Texas Native, he also works part-time as a photographer.
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