U.S. Home Prices Rose 5.6% in Second Quarter From Prior Year

  • Monthly increases reflect more-modest pace of gains, FHFA says
  • Price appreciation cutting into affordability for many buyers

Home prices in the U.S. rose 5.6 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, extending gains that have cut into affordability for many buyers.

Prices increased 1.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous three months, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said in a report Wednesday. In June, prices climbed 0.2 on a seasonally adjusted basis from May. The average estimate of 21 economists was for a 0.3 percent gain.

“Although the appreciation rate for the second quarter was of similar magnitude to what we’ve been seeing for several years now, a close look at the month-over-month price changes during the quarter reveals a potentially significant market shift,” Andrew Leventis, the agency’s supervisory economist, said in a statement. The increase was just 0.2 percent in each of the three months, a more-modest pace of appreciation that “most likely reflects accumulated pressures from significantly reduced home affordability.”

The demand for housing has outstripped supply in the U.S., pushing prices up. A total of 5.5 million homes, including condominiums and single-family houses, changed hands in the second quarter, up 4.2 percent from a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors. The transactions are from a shrinking pool of available properties, as 2.12 million homes were available for sale at the end of the quarter, down 5.8 percent, the group said.

Biggest Gains

Prices in the second quarter rose from a year earlier in every state except Vermont, which had a 0.4 percent decline, the FHFA said. Oregon had the biggest increase, at 11.7 percent. Following were Washington, with 10.3 percent, and Colorado, with 10.2 percent.

The FHFA index measures transactions for single-family properties financed with mortgages owned or securitized by government-sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It doesn’t provide prices. The national median price of an existing single-family home rose to $240,700 in the second quarter, up 4.9 percent from a year earlier, Realtors data show.

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