Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

United States house price growth slows in April - S&P/Case-Shiller

Carmel England  Flickr Carmel England Flickr
Grace Luna | 28 June, 2017, 05:17

While the rate of price increases missed the 0.6% median economic forecast, it still set records for a 5th consecutive month.

David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P, said in a statement that he's not anxious about another national housing downturn, citing low levels of household debt and mortgage default rates.

Tight inventories and heavy consumer demand have been driving up prices.

"The increase in real, or inflation-adjusted, home prices in the last three years shows that demand is rising", he said.

The 20-city average increase in the year ending in April was 5.7 percent, and the national average gain was 5.5 percent.

As of April, the Cleveland-area index still was off almost 8.7 percent from its peak, which occurred in mid-2006.

Black Knight Financial Services home price index stood at $275,000, up 3.6 percent since the start of 2017 and a record high for the index.

USA single-family home prices rose in April due to tight inventory of houses on the market and low mortgage rates, a survey showed on Tuesday, and economists see no imminent change in the trend.

Despite countless cranes that dot the Seattle skyline, real estate development has not been able to keep up with the city's breakneck population gains.

Their data says that rental single-family homes have grown by 45 percent since 2000, especially just south of the Seattle city limits. The inventory of homes for sale stood at 11,615 last month, which is 2.3 months of housing supply, according to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

"We're getting affordability issues in some markets that have seen an increasing rise in prices", said Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West, adding that he anticipates moderate home appreciation gains in the future. "While prices can not rise indefinitely, there is no way to tell when rising prices and mortgage rates will force a slowdown in housing". Rather, will home price gains gently slow or will they crash and take the economy down with them?

He said increased construction, a low rate of mortgage defaults and manageable household debt should prevent a crash.

By Zillow's count, there are 22 percent fewer homes on the market now than this time a year ago. "For the moment, conditions appear favorable for avoiding a crash".

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