The Rise and Rise of Home Prices

Case-Shiller HPI Decline From Peak

Among the 20 cities covered by the Case-Shiller Indices, Seattle enjoyed both the largest gain in employment as well as in home prices over the 12 months ended in February 2018, Blitzer said.

But that's not all.

Metro Denver's year-over-year gain in home-resale prices stood at 8.4 percent in February, nearly an entire percentage point higher than the annual gain the previous month.

The greatest home price gains were in Seattle (up 12.7 percent), Las Vegas (11.6 percent) and San Francisco (10.1 percent).

David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in the report that home prices nationally have risen for the past 70 months, with the average annual gain at 6 percent. Home construction is at its lowest level in decades, while the National Association of Home Builders predicts there will be fewer than 900,000 new home starts this year, even though the market could absorb 1.2 million to 1.3 million - indicating another year of underbuilding. Over that time, the annual price increases averaged 6%, comparable to the time period between January 1992 and February 2007, when prices averaged 6.1% annually.

US home price appreciation continues to be on a solid footing. Home prices have climbed steadily at about 7 percent year-over-year since August.

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Dallas-area home prices are more than 60 percent higher than they were during the worst of the recession in 2009.

The 10-city composite annual increase came in at 6.5 percent, up from 6.0 percent, while the 20 largest cities measure posted a 6.8 percent year-over-year gain, up from 6.4 percent in the previous month. That continues to push prices higher, and bidding wars - particularly on the most affordable homes accessible to first-time buyers - remain common.

Fueling the increase is a lack of homes for sale. Builders closed 2,400 new-home sales in Clark County in the three months ending March 31, up 17 percent from the same period a year ago. "Increasing employment supports rising home price both nationally and locally".

"Competition is fierce, offer windows are short and tensions will inevitably run high for many buyers as the spring shopping season unfolds", she said.

But in San Francisco and Los Angeles, home prices are rising much faster than their job gains would suggest, a sign that regulatory limits on homebuilding and limited land availability are pushing prices eve higher.

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