Home Price Appreciation Rose at a Slower Pace in March

National home price appreciation rose at a slower pace in March as most metro areas experienced a deceleration in price growth.

S&P Dow Jones Indices released the Home Price Index for March. The Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index rose at a seasonally adjusted annual growth rate of 5.4% in March, slower than the 6.8% increase in February.

The purchase-only House Price Index from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 0.6% in March, down from the 10.3% increase in February, confirming the deceleration in home prices.

In addition to tracking home price changes nationwide, S&P also estimated home price indexes across 20 metro areas. In March, the annual growth rates of the 20 metro areas ranged from -0.4%% to 20.0%. Among the 20 metro areas, Minneapolis led the way with a 20.0% increase, followed by Seattle with an 18.9% increase and Las Vegas with 16.2%. Fifteen of the 20 metro areas exceeded the national average of 5.4% in March. Cleveland had negative home price appreciation (-0.4%) in March.

Moreover, the scatter plot below compares the 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas’ annual growth rates in March 2018 and in February 2018. The X-axis presents the annual growth rates in February 2018; the Y-axis presents the annual growth rates in March 2018. As shown in the Figure 2, four of the 20 metro areas, identified where the dots are above the line, had an acceleration in home price growth while the national level and the rest 16 metro areas, located below the line, experienced the deceleration.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released the seasonally adjusted data for each state and the District of Columbia quarterly.  Over the first quarter of 2018, the U.S. purchased-only House Price Index rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 7.0% while the annualized growth rates of each state and the District of Columbia varied.

Figure 3 below shows the annualized quarterly percent changes in the House Price Index across 50 states and the District of Columbia in the first quarter of 2018. There were 23 states where house price growth exceeded the U.S. average and 22 states where house price growth was less than the U.S. average but still positive, while the rest 5 states and the District of Columbia recorded a decline in house prices over the past year. Oregon lead the way with an annualized growth of 16.7%, while Oklahoma had the largest decline of 6.7%.

 

 



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