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S&P Case-Schiller Indices Report Record Rise in Home Prices

S&P Case-Schiller Indices Report Record Rise in Home PricesHome prices continued to rise at record rates in May according to S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. National home prices rose by 16.60 percent year-over-year in May as compared to 14.80 percent year-over-year price growth in April. The 10-City Home Price Index reported home prices rose 16.40 percent year-over-year and 1.90 percent month-to-month.

20-City Home Price Index Reports 17 Percent Home Price Growth Year-Over-Year

S&P Case-Shiller’s 20-City Home Price Index reported month-to-month home price growth of two percent in May as year-over-year home price gains rose from April’s reading of 15 percent to 17 percent year-over-year home price growth.

All cities participating in the 20-City Home Price Index reported home price gains in May. Three cities held their positions with top rates of home price growth. Phoenix Arizona held first place with year-over-year home price growth of 25.90 percent; San Diego, California reported 24.70 percent home price growth. Seattle Washington held third place with 23.40 percent year-over-year home price growth in May.

Home Price Growth Expected to Slow as Buyers Drop Out of Market

Craig Lazarra, managing director and global head of index investment strategy at S&P down Jones Indices said he found himself “running out of superlatives to describe the record increases in home prices.” Analysts credited homebuyer relocation from urban areas to less populated suburban and rural areas for driving up prices. The pandemic initially drove this trend and continues to do so today. Other factors pushing home prices higher included high demand for homes exceeding homes available. As millennials reach their prime-home buying years, demand for homes will increase. Low mortgage rates also encouraged would-be home buyers into the housing market.

High demand for homes drives home prices up, but slower sales suggest that buyers are reaching a tipping point with affordability. Fewer buyers will raise the inventory of available homes and cause home prices to fall. First-time and moderate-income buyers continue to face affordability constraints in many areas, but home prices likely won’t fall significantly in the near term.

In related news, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported similar readings for single-family homes owned or financed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Home prices rose 1.70 percent from April to May and 18.00 percent year-over-year in May. Readings from FHFA include seasonally-adjusted purchase-only data;  refinance transactions were not included.

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