US house prices rise at the fastest rate in five months
America's real estate market picks up on the back of lower mortgage rates and a robust labour market
Home prices in 20 US cities rose at the fastest pace in five months in October, posting a third straight acceleration as real estate markets showed fresh strength at the start of the fourth quarter.
The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index of property values advanced 2.2 per cent from October 2018, according to data released Tuesday that exceeded estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Prices rose 0.4 per cent from a month earlier on a seasonally adjusted basis, also topping projections.
A separate report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency showed house prices climbed 0.2 per cent in October from the previous month, less than the 0.4 per cent median estimate of economists in a Bloomberg survey. Prices nationwide rose 5 per cent from a year earlier, increasing in all nine regions measured, according to the data derived from conforming mortgages.
Lower mortgage rates and a robust labour market have helped consumers remain upbeat, luring potential home buyers and helping to lift prices. Phoenix, Tampa and Charlotte led gains, according to the S&P CoreLogic report.
Other data this week pointed to further stabilisation in the housing market. Contract signings to purchase previously owned US homes increased in November for the third time in four months, National Association of Realtors data found earlier this week.
“Housing data continue to be reassuring,” Craig Lazzara, global head of index investment strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices, noting that stability was broad-based. “It is, of course, still too soon to say whether this marks an end to the deceleration or is merely a pause in the longer-term trend.”
Prices rose on an annual basis in 19 of the 20 cities in the composite measure. Phoenix led with a 5.8 per cent increase, followed by a 4.9 per cent gain in Tampa and 4.8 per cent advance for Charlotte. San Francisco was the only city to post a year-over-year decline.
Updated: January 1, 2020 09:46 AM