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April’s depreciating home prices could signal the market reached its peak

April marks the first monthly decline in 7 years

In April, the median U.S. home depreciated 0.1% in value from the previous month, marking the first monthly decline in seven years, according to Zillow’s latest housing market report.

This means the typical American home now costs $226,800, which is a 6.1% increase from the same time period in 2018.

Despite this gain, April’s reading marks the fourth consecutive month of slowing appreciation.

"The widespread decline in home value growth in April – the first in many years – will turn heads. But it's too early to say if we've hit another national home value peak and are at the beginning of a sustained downturn, or if this is just a bump in the road,"  Zillow Director of Economic Research Skylar Olsen said."Month-over-month numbers are volatile, and this small decline could reverse itself before the year is out and before national home values go negative on a year-over-year basis."

"That said, the likelihood that home values have peaked in several local markets is real," Olsen continued. "The price correction in these areas should continue after years of significant home value growth that substantially outpaced income growth.”

According to Zillow’s analysis, home values fell in 32 of the 35 largest housing markets, remaining flat in two others.

In fact, home values in all but four of the country’s largest housing markets were flat or down from March to April, according to the report.

“San Jose, California posted the largest monthly decline, down 1.4%, the area’s sixth month-over-month decline in a row,” Zillow writes. “April also was the second month in which San Jose’s median home value fell on an annual basis, down 2.7% to $1.19 million—still the priciest large market in the nation.”

Notably, as home value appreciation slowed in April, Zillow highlights that housing inventory also experienced declines.

According to the report, for-sale inventory fell 1.7% from last year’s levels. This means there are now 26,786 fewer homes on the market.

These four major markets experienced significant inventory declines in April:

Washington, D.C.: Decreased 31.8%
Kansas City: Decreased 24.1%
Oklahoma City: Decreased 17.8%
Baltimore: Decreased 17.3%

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