Home Price Growth Remains Near Record Highs: Reports

By Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Reporter
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'
October 26, 2021 Updated: October 26, 2021

Two new reports show that U.S. home prices continued their skyward vault in August, as supply shortages and strong demand combined to keep buying pressure elevated.

Single-family home prices across the United States rose at a record 19.84 percent annual pace in August, slightly above the July rate of 19.75 percent, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national composite home price index (pdf), released on Oct. 26. That’s the largest annual price gain in the 27-plus year history of the series.

“The U.S. housing market showed continuing strength in August 2021,” Craig Lazzara, managing director and global head of index investment strategy at S&P DJI, said in a statement.

Single-family home prices in 20 key urban markets rose by 19.7 percent in August year-over-year, down from 20.0 percent in July, which was the largest annual price increase in the history of the 20-city composite measure. At the same time, the 10-city composite measure came in at 18.6 percent in annual terms in August, down from 19.2 percent in the previous month.

On a month-over-month basis, the Case-Shiller national index rose 1.4 percent in August, while 10-city and 20-city composite indexes both posted increases of 0.9 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.

“Every one of our city and composite indices stands at its all-time high, and year-over-year price growth continues to be very strong, although moderating somewhat from last month’s levels,” Lazzara said, adding that the August data suggest that the growth in housing prices, “while still very strong, may be beginning to decelerate.”

A separate report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which uses slightly different data from the Case-Shiller measures, showed home prices near record highs, though moderating somewhat compared to the prior month.

The FHFA report, released on Oct. 26, showed single-family house prices rose by 18.5 percent over the year in August, down from the record high 19.2 percent in the previous month.

“Annual house price gains remained extremely high in August but the pace of month-over-month gains continues to decelerate,” Lynn Fisher, FHFA’s Deputy Director of the Division of Research and Statistics, said in a statement.

“This does not mean house prices are at risk of declining—far from it, they continue to climb at a double-digit pace in all regions—but it does suggest we may have seen the peak in annual gains for the time being,” she added.

Home prices rose by a monthly 1.0 percent in August, down from July’s pace of 1.4 percent, according to the FHFA.

Tom Ozimek
Reporter
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'