The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index posted a 5.3% annual gain in February, unchanged from the previous month, S&P Dow Jones said Tuesday morning. The 10-City Composite increased 4.6% in the year to February, compared to 5.0% previously. The 20-City Composite’s year-over-year gain was 5.4%, down from 5.7% the prior month.
On a sequential basis, unadjusted, the National Index logged a gain of 0.2% over January. The 10-City Composite recorded a 0.1% month-over-month increase while the 20-City Composite posted a 0.2% increase. Seasonally adjusted, the National Index rose 0.4% month-over-month; the 10-City Composite gained 0.6% and the 20-City Composite was up 0.7%. Fourteen of 20 cities reported increases before seasonal adjustment; after seasonal adjustment, only 10 cities increased for the month.
Portland, Seattle, and Denver reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities with another month of annual price increases. Portland led the way with an 11.9% year-over-year price increase, followed by Seattle with 11.0%, and Denver with a 9.7% increase. Seven cities reported greater price increases in the year ending February 2016 versus the year ending January 2016.
”Home prices continue to rise twice as fast as inflation, but the pace is easing off in the most recent numbers,” says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The year- over-year figures for the 10-City and 20-City Composites both slowed and 13 of the 20 cities saw slower year-over- year numbers compared to last month. The slower growth rate is evident in the monthly seasonally adjusted numbers: six cities experienced smaller monthly gains in February compared to January, when no city saw growth. Among the six were Seattle, Portland OR, and San Diego, all of which were very strong last time."
He continued, “The visible supply of homes on the market is low at 4.8 months in the last report. Home owners looking to sell their house and trade up to a larger house or a more desirable location are concerned with finding that new house. Additionally, the pace of new single family home construction and sales has not completely recovered from the recession.”