house prices

house pricesU.S. home prices continued their relentless rise in April, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, which posted a 6.4% increase for the month. The index covers all nine census divisions.

The 10-city composite index was up 6.2% year-over-year, and the 20-city composite was up 6.6%, with 19 of the 20 cities reporting increases after seasonal adjustments.

“The favorable economy and moderate mortgage rates both support recent gains in housing,” said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “One factor pushing prices up is the continued low supply of homes for  sale. The months-supply is currently 4.3 months, up from levels below 4 months earlier in the year, but still low.”

While house prices look high, in real terms they are below their peaks. “Only three cities — Dallas, Denver, and Seattle — are ahead [of 2006] in real, or inflation-adjusted, terms,” Blitzer said. “The national index is 14% below its boom-time peak, and Las Vegas, the city with the longest road to a new high, is 47% below its peak when inflation is factored in.”

In this latest index report, Seattle, Las Vegas, and San Francisco recorded the largest year-over-year gains.

The index was up 13.1% year-over-year for Seattle. Las Vegas had a 12.7% increase for the month, while San Francisco had a 10.9% increase. Nine of the 20 cities in the composite index had greater price increases for the year ended April 2018 compared with the year ended March 2018, S&P Dow Jones Indices said.

“Looking back to the peak of the boom in 2006, 10 of the 20 cities tracked by the indices are higher than their peaks; the other 10 are below their high points. The national index is also above its previous all-time high, the 20-city index slightly up versus its peak, and the 10-city is a bit below,” Blitzer said.

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