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Real Estate

U.S. home prices rise 3.8% in December

Phoenix reports highest year-over-year gains in December

U.S. home prices increased 3.8% in December from a year earlier, a faster pace than the prior month’s 3.5%, according to S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index.

Measuring the nation’s largest urban areas, the 20-City composite index rose 2.9% in December from a year ago, faster than November’s 2.5% pace, according to the report issued on Tuesday.

Craig Lazzara, managing director and global head of index investment strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said the housing market continued its trend of stable growth in December.

“At the national level, home prices are 59% above the trough reached in February 2012, and 15% above their pre-financial crisis peak,” Lazzara said.

According to the index, Phoenix; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Tampa reported the highest year-over-year gains among all of the 20 cities.

“At a regional level, Phoenix retains the top spot for the seventh consecutive month, with a gain of 6.5% for December,” Lazzara said. “Charlotte and Tampa rose by 5.3% and 5.2% respectively, leading the Southeast region. The Southeast has led all regions for the past year.”

In December, twelve of the 20 cities reported larger price increases versus the annualized gain of the prior month, he said.

“As was the case last month, after a long period of decelerating price increases, the National, 10-City, and 20-City Composites all rose at a faster rate in December than they had done in November,” Lazzara said. “It is, of course, too soon to say whether this marks an end to the deceleration or is merely a pause in the longer-term trend.”

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