Sales prices for single-family homes grew more slowly in February, according to S&P/Case-Shiller’s National Home Price Index. In January, prices grew 4.4% year over year, while the same figure for February came in slightly lower at 4.2%. America’s largest cities, however, bucked the trend, as prices accelerated faster year over year in 20 major metro areas. The rise of home prices at the national level continues to outpace both inflation and wage increases.
This marks the 34th month of year over year home price gains on the S&P/Cash Shiller index. Some cities are seeing much faster growth than others; Denver’s gains sat at 10% for February while San Francisco weighed in at 9.8%. New York, Cleveland and Washington, D.C. experienced the smallest gains among the nation’s largest cities.
The last quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014 saw the highest annual price increases, with many cities posting double-digit gains. But those gains have been slowing for more than a year now, a trend many experts predict will continue throughout 2015.
New construction of single-family homes continues to be slow. New home starts rose just 2% from February to March of 2015, which is 2.5% below where they were in March of the previous year. Sales of previously owned homes, on the other hand, were at their highest in the last year and a half.
Average home prices have stabilized, with home prices within both the 10-city and 20-city composite reports back to the same levels they were at in Q3 of 2004, prior to the recession.
The S&P/Case Shiller home price index was previously released each quarter, but has recently shifted to a monthly release.