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Home Prices Grow 0.6% in July

National home price growth hit a stumbling block in July as prices in some of the nation's largest markets retreated from their upward trend.

FNC, Inc.'s national Residential Price Index (RPI), a metric of prices in 100 of the nation's largest housing markets excluding REO and foreclosure sales, grew 0.6 percent month-over-month in July, slowing again from 0.8 percent in June (which in turn was down from 1.2 percent in May).

The narrower 30-metro composite index saw a similar slowdown, also declining to 0.6 percent growth, while the 10-metro composite saw a half a percentage point drop to 0.4 percent, FNC reported.

The picture look the same on a year-over-year comparison: The national composite fell to 7.4 percent from 8.0 percent in June, while the 30-market composite slipped to 8.0 percent from 8.6 percent. Again, the 10-metro index declined the most, falling to 8.3 percent from 9.1 percent in June.

Despite the evident slowdown, the price recovery continued strong in July in most markets tracked on the 30-metro composite. Growth was led by Tampa (2.0 percent), Sacramento (1.8 percent), Baltimore (1.6 percent), and San Francisco (1.6 percent).

At the bottom of the list were Charlotte and Miami, which saw prices fall 2.5 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively, in July after posting a strong first half of the year.

Also showing depreciation from June to July were Cleveland (-0.8 percent) and Washington, D.C. (-0.5 percent). Prices in Portland and Cincinnati were flat month-to-month.

On a year-over-year basis, all markets but three experienced ongoing appreciation, with California and Florida metros leading the way. According to FNC, Riverside was at the top of the pack as the only market to above 20 percent growth. Following that were Sacramento (18.7 percent), Orlando (17.0 percent), San Francisco (16.8 percent), and Miami (15.8 percent).

The only markets to report lower prices compared to last year were Cleveland (-0.5 percent), Cincinnati (-1.2 percent), and St. Louis (-3.0 percent). Those markets also happen to be the bottom three metros in terms of recovery in the last few years. According to FNC, St. Louis has made the least amount of progress in the past two and a half years, recovering only 1.7 percent. The city's latest annual decline in prices marks the 11th straight drop, the company reported.

In other news, FNC also reported a record low in both mortgage defaults and foreclosure starts. As of July, the company estimates completed foreclosures made up only 10.5 percent of total existing-home sales.

At the same time, conditions remain favorable in the for-sale markets, with the average asking price discount coming in slightly above 2.0 percent and time on market averaging slightly more than 90 days.

About Author: Tory Barringer

Tory Barringer began his journalism career in early 2011, working as a writer for the University of Texas at Arlington's student newspaper before joining the DS News team in 2012. In addition to contributing to DSNews.com, he is also the online editor for DS News' sister publication, MReport, which focuses on mortgage banking news.
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