The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, reported a 5.1% annual gain in July, up from 5.0% last month. The 10-City Composite posted a 4.2% annual increase, down from 4.3% the previous month. The 20-City Composite reported a year-over-year gain of 5.0%, down from 5.1% in June.

Portland, Seattle, and Denver reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities over each of the last six months. In July, Portland led the way with a 12.4% year-over-year price increase, followed by Seattle at 11.2%, and Denver with a 9.4% increase. Nine cities reported greater price increases in the year ending July 2016 versus the year ending June 2016.

The chart below depicts the annual returns of the U.S. National, the 10 -City Composite, and the 20- City Composite Home Price Indices. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, recorded a 5.1% annual gain in July 2016. The 10- City and 20-City Composites reported year-over-year increases of 4.2% and 5.0%.

Before seasonal adjustment, the National Index posted a month-over-month gain of 0.7% in July. The 10-City Composite recorded a 0.5% month-over-month increase while the 20-City Composite posted a 0.6% increase in July. After seasonal adjustment, the National Index recorded a 0.4% month-over- month increase, the 10-City Composite posted a 0.1% decrease, and the 20-City Composite remains unchanged. After seasonal adjustment, 12 cities saw prices rise, two cities were unchanged, and six cities experienced negative monthly prices changes.

“Both the housing sector and the economy continue to expand with home prices continuing to rise at about a 5% annual rate,” says David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The statement issued last week by the Fed after its policy meeting confirms the central bank’s view that the economy will see further gains. Most analysts now expect the Fed to raise interest rates in December. After such Fed action, mortgage rates would still be at historically low levels and would not be a major negative for house prices,

“The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Index is within 0.6% of the record high set in July 2006. Seven of the 20 cities have already set new record highs. The 10-year, 20-year, and National indices have been rising at about 5% per year over the last 24 months. Eight of the cities are seeing prices up 6% or more in the last year. Given that the overall inflation is a bit below 2%, the pace is probably not sustainable over the long term. The run-up to the financial crisis was marked with both rising home prices and rapid growth in mortgage debt. Currently, outstanding mortgage debt on one-to-four family homes is 12.6% below the peak seen in the first quarter of 2008 and up less than 2% in the last four quarters. There is no reason to fear that another massive collapse is around the corner.”