US home prices rise for 20th straight month — but economists warn a slowdown is coming

New York /
Dec.December 03, 2013 04:22 PM

U.S. home prices, including distressed sales, were up 0.2 percent on the month in October, and up 12.5 percent on the year, according to CoreLogic’s latest report.

This was the twentieth consecutive monthly year-over- year increase in national home prices. The pace of home price growth tends to slow towards the end of the year. And adjusting for this seasonality Paul Diggle at Capital Economics points out the CoreLogic home prices were actually up 1.2 percent on the month.

Ex-distressed sales — short sales, and real estate owned transactions — home prices were up 0.4 percent on the month, and 11 percent on the year.

The latest Case Shiller data also showed that home prices posted the biggest gain since February 2006. But economists largely expect home price growth to slow the rest of the year and in 2014.

While CoreLogic home prices are on less of a lag than Case Shiller, “these numbers still reflect supply and demand conditions from four to six months ago,” writes Diggle in a note to clients. “Since then, demand has dropped on the back of higher mortgage interest rates and the supply of homes for sale has continued to rise. The resulting loosening in market conditions does not point to a continued acceleration in house price gains.”

Michelle Meyer at Bank of America also expects home price growth to slow in 2014. BofA lowered its 2013 home price forecast to 10% from 11.8%, and its 2014 forecast to 5.2 percent, from 6.5 percent.

“The slowdown in price appreciation is positive for the housing market as almost half the states are now within 10 percent of their respective historical price peaks,” Mark Fleming, chief economist at CoreLogic said in a press release.

Here are some details from the report:

  • The peak-to-current decline in national home prices, from April 2006 to October 2013, was 17.3 percent. Ex-distressed transactions the peak to current change showed a 13.1 percent fall.
  • Including distressed sales home prices were up the most in Nevada, up 25.9 percent and only declined in New Mexico, down 0.5 percent.
  • Ex-distressed sales home prices were up the most in Nevada, up 22.5 percent. Ex-distressed sale no states saw home prices fall in July.
  • The CoreLogic Pending home price index suggests that home prices will rise 12.2 percent on a YoY basis in November, and 0.2 percent on the month.

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