Home Prices in 20 U.S. Cities Climbed at Faster Pace in December

Home prices in 20 U.S. cities rose in the 12 months through December at the fastest pace in almost a year, while nationwide the gain in values was the biggest since 2014, according to S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller data reported Tuesday.

Key Points

  • 20-city property values index advanced 5.6 percent from December 2015 (forecast was 5.4 percent) after climbing 5.2 percent in the year through November
  • National home-price gauge climbed 5.8 percent in the 12 months through December, the most since June 2014
  • The seasonally adjusted 20-city measure rose 0.9 percent from a month earlier (forecast was 0.7 percent)

Big Picture

A limited number of listings is keeping home values elevated as buyers compete for properties. Figures Monday from the National Association of Realtors showed contract signings for existing homes dropped last month as higher housing prices and a pickup in mortgage rates made purchases less affordable. Nonetheless, solid hiring and a nascent gain in incomes will probably keep potential homebuyer traffic elevated and underpin sales.

Economist Takeaways

“Home prices are rising, but the speed is not alarming,” David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P index committee, said in a statement. “One factor behind rising home prices is low inventory.”

The Details

  • All 20 cities in the index showed a year-over-year gain, led by a 10.8 percent advance in Seattle and a 10 percent increase in Portland, Oregon
  • After seasonal adjustment, Chicago had the biggest month-over-month gain at 1.5 percent; Seattle and Tampa each posted 1.4 percent increases
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