Home price appreciation continued to ease during July, following the trends seen the past four months, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices released Tuesday morning.

The national index, covering all nine census divisions, posted a 5.1% annual gain in July, roughly unchanged from June levels. The 20-City Composite and 10-City Composite posted increases year-over-year of 5.0% and 4.2%, respectively, each down a basis point from June. Not seasonally adjusted, all three portions of the index edged up marginally (less than 1%) month-over-month. After seasonal adjustment, the National Composite increased a scant 0.4% month-over-month, the 20-city Composite stayed flat, and the 10-city composite decreased -0.1%.

Among the cities in the 20-City Composite (after seasonal adjustment), 12 cities experienced home price gains between June and July, up from nine reported in June, but down compared to 15 cities in April. Year-over-year, nine cities reported greater annual price gains for the 12 months ending in July 2016 versus June 2016.

David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, stated that the pace at which the national-, 20-city, and 10-city composite indices have been rising is probably not sustainable over the long term, which accounts for the slowed growth we're currently seeing.

"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," he said. "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." Blitzer noted that the reason the pace will likely not be sustainable going forward is due to the fact that overall inflation is currently a bit below 2%.

Although home price growth has slowed over the past four months, (despite consumer demand for homes), Blitzer maintains that there is no reason to fear the future of housing.

"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."

Among all census regions, the Pacific Northwest and the West continue to be the strongest regions for housing growth. Portland, Seattle, and Denver continue to be among the top cities for year-over-year growth, posting the largest gains for six consecutive months.

Largest year-over-year price gains in July:

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