Home Prices Continue to Rise Overall

Home prices continued to rise nationwide over the last 12 months, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index released today for April 2016.

The index, which covers all nine U.S. Census divisions, reported a 5% annual gain in April, down from 5.1% the previous month. The 10-City Composite posted a 4.7% annual increase, down from 4.8% in March, while the 20-City Composite reported a year-over-year gain of 5.4% from 5.5%.

Portland (12.3%), Seattle (10.7%) and Denver (9.5%) had the highest year-over-year gains. Nine cities reported greater price increases versus the year ending March 2016.

The seasonally adjusted national index went up 0.1% month-over-month; the 10-City Composite, 0.3%; and the 20-City Composite, 0.5%. Of the 20 cities, 15 saw prices rise; two cities were unchanged; and three cities experienced negative monthly price changes.

“The housing sector continues to turn in a strong price performance with the S&P/Case-Shiller National Index rising at a 5% or greater annual rate for six consecutive months,” said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The home price increases reflect the low unemployment rate, low mortgage interest rates and consumers’ generally positive outlook.

“However, the outlook is not without a lot of uncertainty and some risk. Last week’s vote by Great Britain to leave the European Union is the most recent political concern while the U.S. elections in the fall raise uncertainty and will distract home buyers and investors in the coming months. The details in the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price data also hint at possible softness. Seasonally adjusted figures in the report show that three cities saw lower prices in April compared to only one city in March. Among the 20 cities, 16 saw either declines or smaller increases in monthly prices in the seasonally adjusted numbers.”

- Source: S&P Dow Jones

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