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Home Prices Continue Ascent

CoreLogic’s latest Case-Shiller Index found home prices recorded their largest annual increases since December 2018 and a month-over-month increase of 0.85%—the fastest pace in 10 months. 

The report found annual home prices in March 2020 reached 4.35%. 

Also, the Census Housing Vacancy and Homeownership Survey shows homeownership continued to climb during Q1 2020, and at 65.3%—the highest level in seven years. The increase, according to CoreLogic, was driven by the jump in homeownership among those 29-year-old and younger. 

Among the 20 cities studied by the Case-Shiller, Phoenix had the highest home-price growth acceleration rate for the 10th consecutive month, with an annual increase of 8.16%. Seattle was close behind with an annual growth of 6.89%. 

New York and Chicago continued to report the smallest annual gains of the 20 metros studied, at 2.07% and 1.54%, respectively. 

Realtor.com’s Senior Economist George Ratiu said the recent data is “not indicative of more current market conditions.” 

“The current housing markets are beset by extremely tight inventory, as sellers pulled back during the past two months amid rising uncertainty. The latest weekly data show a 28% drop in new listings, while existing listed properties linger on the market for an additional 15 days,” Ratiu said. “As states are cautiously reopening business activity and people are looking at summer plans in a new light, the reality of 25 million unemployed Americans is casting looming clouds over the horizon. For homebuyers, low availability coupled with still-rising prices are overshadowing the benefit of historically-low mortgage rates.”

Additionally, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported home prices rose 1.7% during Q1 2020. Home prices are up 5.7% since Q1 2019. 

“Home price growth in the first quarter outpaced annual growth from the same period a year ago as falling interest rates and shrinking inventories for sale led prices higher just prior to the crisis. Prices in the Mountain Division, encompassing the top four states by growth, grew by 8% on a year over year basis,” said Dr. Lynn Fisher, Deputy Director of the Division of Research and Statistics at FHFA. “Because of the lag between contract signing and sale closing when our data are recorded, we judge the first quarter’s housing statistics were relatively unaffected by the COVID-19 outbreak. However, we are unable to account for any modifications or cancellations of sales later in March.”

The FHFA said Q1 2020 is the 35th consecutive quarter for home price increases. 

Prices also rose in 48 states and the District of Columbia between Q1 2019 and Q1 2020. 

Idaho led the nation with 12.6% in annual appreciation, followed by Montana (10.2%); Wyoming (9.9%); Utah (9%); and Hawaii (8.8%). 

The areas showing the lowest annual appreciation were West Virginia (-2.1%); Alaska (-0.1%); North Dakota (0.4%); Illionous (2.5%); and Connecticut (3%). 

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.
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