Home Price Gains Continued to Slow in March

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Home price appreciation continued to slow in March. Five out of the 20 metro areas experienced price declines while Boston led the way with a 14.0% annual growth rate in March.

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 3.2% in March, following an increase of 3.1% in February. On a year-over-year basis, the Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index rose by 3.7% in March, down from 3.9% in February. It was the lowest annual gain since September 2012. The annual growth rate has decreased for twelve straight months, from 6.5% in March 2018 to 3.7% in March 2019.

Meanwhile, the Home Price Index, released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.3% in March, following the 5.3% increase in February. On a year-over-year basis, the FHFA Home Price NSA Index rose by 5.0% in March. It was the lowest annual growth rate since January 2015, confirming the slowdown in home price appreciation.

In addition to tracking home price changes nationwide, S&P also reported home price indexes across 20 metro areas. In March, local home prices varied greatly, and their annual growth rates ranged from -1.9% to 14.0%. Among the 20 metro areas, half of them exceeded the national average of 3.2%. Boston, San Diego and San Francisco had the highest home price appreciation. Boston led the way with a 14.0% increase, followed by San Diego with a 9.0% increase and San Francisco with an 8.6% increase. Five metro areas, which had positive home price appreciation in February, experienced price declines in March and they were Chicago (-1.9%), Los Angeles (-1.1%), Dallas (-0.8%), Las Vegas (-0.4%) and Detroit (-0.3%).



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