US home prices jump 10.4% in best year since 2013

December’s sales were the fastest in 7 years, per Case-Shiller index


Last year was the best for home prices since 2013 — and the best in five decades for single-family home values, new data show.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index rose 10.4 percent year-over-year in December. That’s up from 9.5 percent in November when the monthly index surpassed the previous peak of July 2006.

December’s gain meant 2020 was the best calendar year for home prices in seven years and one of the top three in the 30-year history of the index.

“The trend of accelerating prices that began in June 2020 has now reached its seventh month,” said Craig Lazzara, managing director and global head of index investment strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices, in a statement.

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The national trend played out in the vast majority of the 20 cities tracked by the indices, with the notable exception of Detroit, for which price data was still not available.

The 20-city index (minus Detroit) posted a 10.1 percent year-over-year increase, up from 9.2 percent in November. The 10-city index was up 9.8 percent year-over-year, compared to 8.9 percent the month before. The metro areas that saw the largest price gains continued to be Phoenix, Seattle and San Diego.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index, which tracks single-family home values for over 400 cities, also saw a big year-over-year increase. Home prices rose nearly 11 percent in the final quarter of 2020, per the index.

The FHFA HPI has been monitoring home prices since the 1970s, and Dr. Lynn Fisher, deputy director of FHFA’s Division of Research and Statistics, said last quarter’s gains were the largest annual and quarterly increases in the index’s history.

Home prices rose in the 100 largest metro areas surveyed, with Boise City, ID, recording the largest year-over-year increase of 23.4 percent. The area including San Francisco, San Mateo and Redwood City saw the weakest price growth, with home prices rising just 2.4 percent.