National home price appreciation continued to slow at the beginning of 2019. Three metro areas in California (San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego), Cleveland and Chicago experienced home price declines in January.
The Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, reported by S&P Dow Jones Indices, rose at a seasonally adjusted annual growth rate of 2.8% in January, after rising 2.5% in December. On a year-over-year basis, the Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index rose by 4.3% in January, down from 4.6% in December. It was the lowest annual gain since February 2015. Annual growth rate has decreased for ten straight months, from 6.5% in March 2018 to 4.3% in January 2019. The slowdown in home price appreciation and lower mortgage rates accounted for the jump in existing home sales in February.
Meanwhile, the Home Price Index, released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 7.1% in January, following the 4.2% increase in December. On a year-over-year basis, the FHFA Home Price NSA Index rose by 5.6% in January, the lowest annual growth rate since December 2015.
In addition to tracking home price changes nationwide, S&P also reported home price indexes across 20 metro areas. In January, the annual growth rates of the 20 metro areas ranged from -6.7% to 6.5%. Among the 20 metro areas, twelve metro areas exceeded the national average of 2.8%. Detroit, Dallas and Denver had the highest home price appreciation. Detroit led the way with a 6.5% increase, followed by Dallas with a 6.1% increase and Denver with a 5.5% increase. Five metro areas experienced price declines in January and they are San Francisco (-6.7%), San Diego (-3.4%), Cleveland (-3.4%), Los Angeles (-1.2%) and Chicago (-1.0%).