Asking Home Prices Slow Down Despite Annual Gains

Although home prices are at their highest annual gain since the housing crash, a slowdown in September asking prices suggests the market is pumping the breaks on its road to recovery, according to national real estate hub Trulia.

Asking home prices increased 2% in September from the previous month, and 3% quarter-over-quarter—from July through September—signaling the smilers gain since February.

Despite the fact that asking prices were up 11.5% year-over-year, which Trulia notes as the largest increase since the housing market crashed, the recent price slowdown has not been underway long enough to start dragging down the year-over-year changes.

Price slowdowns have become more widespread in various U.S. cities in the last several months.

In September, 89 of the largest 100 metros had quarter-over-quarter price increases, however, that number has been declining since June where it was 97, in July which reported 96 and August’s reading of 93 metros.

Of the 11 metros where prices fell quarter-over-quarter, three were in Florida and two were located in upstate New York. But while prices have been rising before the most recent quarter in most of these markets, Trulia notes, their annual change is still positive.

Likening the difference between price declines and price slowdowns to the act of driving, Trulia Chief Economist Jed Kolko writes that “price declines are like putting a car into reverse, while price slowdowns are like tapping the brakes but still moving forward.”

Among the 100 largest metros, 68 had slower quarter-over-quarter price changes than three months earlier in June.

Metros like Sacramento, Oakland, Orange County and Los Angeles all had price slowdowns of 2% or more, despite prices in these areas are still up more than 20% year-over-year.

Sales prices from September to November can also be affected by the recent quarter’s trend in asking prices, Trulia notes, however, these results won’t be fully reflected in major sales-price indexes until their releases in January 2014.

Read the report from Trulia.

Written by Jason Oliva

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