Home Price Appreciation Continues in February


In February, national home price appreciation continued prior to COVID-19 shutdown.  All 20 metro areas had positive home price growth rates. However, price growth will certainly decline in the coming months as nonessential businesses shut down and jobless claims soar.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, reported by S&P Dow Jones Indices, rose at a seasonally adjusted annual growth rate of 6.0% in February, the highest rate in the past two years. On a year-over-year basis, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index posted a 4.2% annual gain in February, up from 3.9% in January. It marked the highest annual growth rate since January 2019. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, existing home sales tumbled in March and home prices are expected to increase at a slower pace in the coming months.

Meanwhile, the Home Price Index, released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 9.2% in February, following a 5.8% increase in January. On a year-over-year basis, the FHFA Home Price NSA Index rose by 5.8% in February, after an increase of 5.4% in January.

In addition to tracking home price changes nationwide, S&P also reported home price indexes across 20 metro areas. In February, all 20 metro areas reported positive annual growth rates ranged from 0.6% to 16.3%. Among the 20 metro areas, nine metro areas exceeded the national average of 6.0%. Minneapolis, Tampa and Cleveland had the highest home price appreciation in February. Minneapolis led the way with a 16.3% increase, followed by Tampa with a 12.3% increase and Cleveland with a 11.1% increase.

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