S&P CoreLogic’s Case-Shiller data was released Tuesday, signaling a growth in home prices in 20 U.S. cities which reached even higher than forecasts expected back in March. The rise in home prices was driven by climbing demand and a dearth of available inventory. The trend continues on the heels of a similar report from Case-Shiller in February which indicated an almost identical level of growth as well.
Both February and March reports indicated a 6.8 percent growth in the 20-city report. The top three cities with the highest annual appreciation remained Seattle (13%), Las Vegas (12.3%), and San Francisco (11.3%).
David M. Blitzer, the Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices said, “”Looking across various national statistics on sales of new or existing homes, permits for new construction, and financing terms, two figures that stand out are rapidly rising home prices and low inventories of existing homes for sale. Months-supply, which combines inventory levels and sales, is currently at 3.8 months, lower than the levels of the 1990s, before the housing boom and bust. Until inventories increase faster than sales, or the economy slows significantly, home prices are likely to continue rising. Compared to the price gains of the last boom in the early 2000s, things are calmer today. Gains in the National Index peaked at 14.5 percent in September 2005, more quickly than Seattle is rising now.”