United States: Home prices inch down again in December
February 25, 2014
In December, the unadjusted S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price composite index fell 0.1% over the previous month, matching the slight decline registered in November. The reading matched market expectations.
On an annual basis, home prices rose 13.4% over the same month of the previous year, which was a slight decrease compared to the 13.7% rise recorded in November. Despite the strong performance in recent months, prices still remain 19.6% below the July 2006 peak.
S&P emphasized that housing prices continue to rise although the overall pace is slowing; monthly rates decelerated in 11 of the 20 cities surveyed between November and December. According to S&P, "gains are slowing from month-to-month and the strongest part of the recovery in home values may be over. Some of the weakness reflects the cold weather in much of the country. However, higher home prices and mortgage rates are taking a toll on affordability."
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist