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United States Housing May 2019

United States: Home price growth cools in May

On a month-on-month basis, the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite home price index rose 0.6% in May, down from the 0.8% increase in April and matching market expectations. When adjusted for seasonal factors, however, house prices rose 0.1% in May, up from flat growth in April.

In annual terms, home price growth slowed to a near seven-year low of 2.4% in May from 2.5% in April, matching analysts’ expectations. Las Vegas, Phoenix and Tampa continued to see the strongest home price gains, whereas house prices fell in Seattle, while price growth in the San Francisco, San Diego and Chicago housing markets remained weak. Overall, 11 out of the 20 cities in the index registered slower annual price growth in May than April.

Commenting on the reading, Philip Murphy, managing director and global head of index governance at S&P Dow Jones Indices, noted:

“Though home price gains seem generally sustainable for the time being, there are significant variations between YOY rates of change in individual cities. Seattle’s home price index is now 1.2% lower than it was in May 2018, the first negative YOY change recorded in a major city in a number of years. […] Nationally, increasing housing supply points to somewhat weakened demand, but the fact that seven cities experienced stronger YOY price gains in May than they did in April suggests an underlying resiliency that may mitigate the risk of overshooting to the downside at the national level.”

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