Home Price Gains Pumping the Brakes in May

Home prices continue to mark steady gains in the nation’s largest housing markets both on a monthly and yearly basis, but they are largely pumping the brakes on the speed of their growth. 

Both the 10-City and 20-City Composites reported year-over-year gains of 9.4% and 9.3% through May 2014, respectively, according to data released Tuesday by S&P Dow Jones Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.

Despite the near double-digit growth in May, home price appreciation is down significantly from the 10.9% and 10.8% year-over-year returns reported during the prior month.

What’s more is that home prices rose at their slowest pace since February 2013 and are well-below expectations, said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. 

Year-over-year, nine cities achieved double-digit growth in home prices during May—Las Vegas (16.9%), San Francisco (15.4%), Miami (13.2%), San Diego (12.4%), Los Angeles (12.3%), Detroit (11.9%), Atlanta (11.2%), Tampa (10.2%), and Portland (10%). 

On a monthly basis, all 20 cities posted increases for the second consecutive month in May, with the 10- and 20-City Composites posting gains of 1.1% on average.

Meanwhile, just two cities, Phoenix and San Diego, gained less than 1% with increases of 0.4% and 0.5%, respectively.

While all cities continued to post yearly increases, gains weakened overall in May. The exception was Charlotte, N.C., which was the only metropolitan statistical area to see its annual rate improve; it posted 4.7% growth year-over-year in May versus 4.5% in April. 

“Housing has been turning in mixed economic numbers in the last few months,” stated Blitzer in a release. “Prices and sales of existing homes have shown improvement while construction and sales of new homes continue to lag. At the same time, the broader economy and especially employment are showing larger improvements and substantial gains.”

Written by Jason Oliva

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