U.S. housing prices have continued in their stratospheric rise but at a rate somewhat slower than the pattern from previous months, according to the leading source of metrics on the state of the housing market.
On Tuesday, the S&P Dow Jones Indices released its latest data for the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices, the leading metric of domestic housing prices. The report noted a 19.1 percent annual gain in housing prices, down from the previous report’s 19.7 percent annual gain, suggesting a subtle deceleration in housing gains even as prices continue to rise.
The report suggested that the housing bull market peaked even before the Federal Reserve announced its new monetary policy entailing three rate hikes next year, which are expected to slow the growth of home prices.
The S&P also noted that housing prices had risen most drastically in several major cities in the American South, noting a bullish trend in parts of the sun belt.
“Phoenix, Tampa, and Miami reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities in October. Phoenix led the way with a 32.3% year-over-year price increase, followed by Tampa with a 28.1% increase and Miami with a 25.7% increase.”
These findings are largely congruous with a new report by the title insurance company First American, which claims that housing affordability was at its lowest level since 2008. The First American report also described rapid growth in home prices in Phoenix, which First American christened “the city where affordability declined the most.”
Thus, while the trend of rapidly accelerating housing prices has abated somewhat in recent months, real estate continues to accrue value, and it is unclear if this pattern will be reversed in the foreseeable future. As long as the trend continues, home ownership is likely to become more cost prohibitive for middle class families.