August Prices Show Recovery to be Uneven

Written by: editor   Wed, October 16, 2013 Market Analysis, Market Trends, featured

The latest FNC Residential Price Index shows continued growth of August home prices as the U.S. housing recovery remains well underway but uneven results in markets across the nation

Based on recorded sales of non-distressed properties (existing and new homes) in the 100 largest metropolitan areas, the FNC 100-MSA composite index shows that August home prices increased from the previous month at a seasonally unadjusted rate of 0.6%, making August the 18th consecutive month of rising home prices In a sign of moderating month-over-month price momentum, August’s price increase is smaller than June and July. On a year-over-year basis, home prices were up a modest 5.3% from a year ago. The two narrower indices exhibit similar month-over-month price momentums but a slightly faster year-over-year price increase.

However, there are signs that the price momentum has likely subsided entering the fall/winter low season in home buying. The latest September median sales-to-list price ratio edged lower to 96.2 – a 3.8% listing price markdown among closed sales, down from 97.2 in August.

At a 2.1% July-to-August price change, San Antonio recorded the largest month-over-month price increase. Home prices in Las Vegas climbed another 1.8% in August, the 10th consecutive month of rapid price accelerations. Home prices in Charlotte and New York also enjoyed a relatively strong performance. Based on the year-over-year and 20-month price changes, it is clear that the recovery remains uneven across the nation. Most notably, Chicago has so far delivered the smallest price appreciations for homeowners despite that the market is on the mend. At 21.8% in August, foreclosure sales continue to make a sizeable portion in the city’s total home sales.

While August home prices are up in nearly all the major housing markets tracked by the FNC 30-MSA composite index, Phoenix and Los Angeles began to show first signs of price weakening, where prices were down 0.1% and 0.4%, respectively, from the previous month. This softening price trend in Phoenix and Los Angeles – two of the housing market’s most important barometers – emerged after a long streak of rapid price accelerations that averaged more than a 2.0% month-over-month increase. Denver, another strong-performing city in the current housing recovery, also recorded a small price drop in August.

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