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Climb in home prices slows in 20 U.S. cities

Staff and Wire Reports
September 25. 2018 10:57PM

Home-price gains in 20 U.S. cities grew in July at the slowest pace in almost a year, a sign demand is increasingly bumping up against affordability constraints, according to S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller data released Tuesday.

July marked the fourth consecutive month that annual price gains in the 20-city index decelerated. That’s in sync with other reports indicating housing is stalling as buyers shy away from higher prices amid mortgage rates near the highest since 2011, in addition to a lack of choice among affordable properties.

The report showed four cities recorded monthly price declines in July, led by New York, followed by Boston, Chicago and Dallas. Thirteen showed gains, while three were unchanged.

In New Hampshire, August’s price growth of 6.6 percent year-over-year was stronger than four other months in 2018, according to the New Hampshire Realtors.

August also saw more single-family home deals closed in August than a year earlier, 2,021 compared to 2,007 a year earlier.

The median sales price for August — $287,950 — was lower than July’s median of $298,700, but higher than August 2017’s $270,000.

One Realtor last month questioned whether the monthly median price would continue rising month over month because people buying larger homes like to buy earlier in the summer and get settled before school starts in late August or early September.

Steady hiring and elevated confidence are supporting demand.

Prospective buyers — especially younger ones or those purchasing for the first time — may get further relief as home-price appreciation moderates, although it is still outpacing wage growth. On the flip side, price gains keep adding to homeowner equity for others.

“The slowing is widespread,” David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P index committee, said in a statement. “Fifteen of 20 cities saw smaller monthly increases in July 2018 than in July 2017.”

All 20 cities in the index showed year-over-year gains, led by a 13.7 percent increase in Las Vegas and a 12.1 percent advance in Seattle. The Washington area had the smallest annual gain at 2.7 percent.

Reporter Michael Cousineau and Bloomberg contributed to this report.

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