Home prices in the U.S. fell for the seventh consecutive month in February, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price data.
The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index fell 0.2 percent in January compared with December on a seasonally adjusted basis. Before seasonal adjustment, the national index fell 0.5 percent month-over-month.
Despite declining for over half a year, home prices are still above year-ago levels. Compared with the previous January, the index is up 3.8 percent. That represents a major cooling from the 5.8 percent year-over-year gain recorded for December.
The inventory of homes for sale remains low compared with prepandemic levels as homeowners resist selling residences that currently are financed by much cheaper mortgages.
The 10-City com composite index, which covers the biggest metro areas in the U.S., fell 0.5 percent compared with the prior month. The 20-City composite fell 0.6 percent.
The 10-city index is up 2.5 percent year-0ver-year, down from the 4.4 percent gain in December. The 20-city index is also up 2.5 percent compared with a year ago, down from 4.6 percent in December.
“January’s market weakness was broadly based. Before seasonal adjustment, 19 cities registered a decline; the seasonally adjusted picture is a bit brighter, with only 15 cities declining. With or without seasonal adjustment, most cities’ January declines were less severe than their December counterparts,” says Craig J. Lazzara, Managing Director at S&P DJI.
Lazzara added details about how housing markets are performing differently across the country:
“Miami (+13.8% year-over-year) was the best performing city in January, extending its winning streak to six consecutive months. Tampa (+10.5%) and Atlanta (+8.4%) continued in second and third place, with Charlotte (+8.1%) not far behind. At the other end of the scale, one of the most interesting aspects of January’s report is the continued weakness in home prices on the West Coast, as San Diego and Portland joined San Francisco and Seattle in negative year-over-year territory. It’s therefore unsurprising that the Southeast (+10.2%) continues as the country’s strongest region, while the West (-1.5%) continues as the weakest.”
A separate measure of home prices from the Federal Housing Finance Agency showed home prices rising 0.2 percent in January compared with December. Compared with a year ago, the FHFA index is up 5.3 percent.
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