Home Price Appreciation Continues in March


National home prices continued to increase in March and have not reflected any significant adverse impacts from the COVID-19 shutdown. However, as many nonessential businesses remain shut down in April and May, home prices will certainly decline in the coming months.

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 5.7% in March, slightly slower than a 6.0% increase in February. On a year-over-year basis, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index posted a 4.4% annual gain in March, up from 4.2% in February. It marked the highest annual growth rate since December 2018. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the April’s existing home sales reported the largest monthly decline in nearly 10 years, putting downward pressure on home prices 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 1.8% in March, following a 10.4% increase in February. On a year-over-year basis, the FHFA Home Price NSA Index rose by 5.9% in March, after an increase of 6.1% in February.

In addition to tracking home price changes nationwide, S&P reported home price indexes across 19 metro areas in March (Detroit metro area data was missing in March because transactions records for Wayne county, Michigan were unavailable).

In March, all 19 metro areas reported positive annual growth rates ranged from 1.7% to 16.5%. Among the 19 metro areas, 12 metro areas exceeded the national average of 5.7%. Tampa, Seattle and Cleveland had the highest home price appreciation in March. Tampa led the way with a 16.5% increase, followed by Seattle with a 13.9% increase and Cleveland with a 13.8% increase.

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