The annual pace of home price growth ticked higher in August according to data from the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller indexes.
The National Home Price NSA Index covering all nine US census divisions gained 3.2% year-over-year in August, gaining from the 3.1% pace in July. But the 10-City Composite index slowed to 1.5% (from 1.6% in July) while the 20-City Composite index was unchanged at 2%.
Phoenix posted the largest gain among the 20 Cities with a 6.3% year-over-year price increase, followed by Charlotte (4.5%) and Tampa (4.3%).
But there were some shifts in leadership in play.
“Las Vegas dropped from number two to number eight among the cities of the 20-City Composite, falling from a 4.7% year-over-year change in July to only 3.3% in August,” said Philip Murphy, Managing Director and Global Head of Index Governance at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
He added that the Southeast region included three of the top four cities.
“Charlotte, Tampa, and Atlanta all recorded solid year-over-year performance with price changes of 4.5%, 4.3%, and 4.0%, respectively. In the Northwest, Seattle’s year-over-year change turned positive (0.7%) after three consecutive months of negative year-over-year price changes,” said Murphy.
Asked what the readings mean for the US housing market, CoreLogic deputy chief economist Dr. Ralph B. McLaughlin said mortgage rates have played an important role.
“Persistently low mortgage rates have seemingly ended what might have otherwise been a home price race-to-the-bottom this late in our economic expansion,” he said. “Mortgage rates this low at the end of an economic cycle is nearly unprecedented and may be very well keeping the housing market – and US economy – afloat.”
Before seasonal adjustment, the National Index posted a month-over-month increase of 0.2% in August.
The 10-City and 20-City Composites did not post any gains for the month. After seasonal adjustment, the National Index recorded a 0.3% month-over-month increase in August.
The 10-City Composite posted a 0.1% decrease and the 20-City Composite posted a 0.2% decrease. In August, 11 of 20 cities reported increases both before seasonal adjustment while 17 of 20 cities reported increases after seasonal adjustment.