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Home Price Growth: An End to the “Great Cooldown”?


Home-price gains fell in the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index (HPI), with April’s gain coming in at 3.5%, a drop from 3.7% the month prior. 

April’s report is the 13th consecutive month of slowing home-price growth, which is now at its lowest level of growth since September 2012.

The 10-City Composite, increase, though, rose slightly from 2.2% to 2.3% in April, and the 20-City Composite recorded a 2.5% year-over-year increase, which is down from 2.6% from the prior month. 

“The U.S. housing market is showing signs the cooldown may end within the next few months. While the slowdown is now in its 13th consecutive month, half of the country’s markets are now seeing an increase in home price appreciation from March to April,” said Ralph B. McLaughlin, Deputy Chief Economist and Executive of Research and Insights for CoreLogic. “This suggests the great cooldown of 2018-2019 might be coming to an end. Coupled with mortgage rates falling to 18-month lows, it seems the housing market frost is poised to thaw quickly this summer.”

According to the report, Las Vegas, Nevada, Phoenix, Arizona, and Tampa, Florida, reported the largest gains from 2018. Las Vegas had the highest increase in the nation at 7.1%, and was followed by Phoenix’s 6% increase. Tampa reported a 5.6% increase. 

Nine of the 20 cities had larger price increases in the year ending April 2019, than in March 2019. 

Last month’s Case-Shiller HPI had the same three cities leading the way in home-price growth. Las Vegas recorded abn increase of 8.2%, Phoenix had growth of 6.1% and Tampa’s home values grew by 5.3%. 

“The Case-Shiller Home Price Index is a lagging indicator of conditions in the housing market.  As a result, even though home sales and housing starts have rebounded, home price growth continued to slow in the past few months,” said Tian Liu, Chief Economist at Genworth Mortgage Insurance. “However, a rebound in the housing market must include a stabilization, followed by a rebound in home price growth, shown in April’s data.  Many homebuyers have taken advantage of the lower interest rate environment by taking out bigger mortgages. That extra purchasing power is finally showing up in home prices.”

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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