Steel Markets

Home Prices at 33-Month High Says S&P/Case-Shiller

Written by Sandy Williams

Home prices continued to rise in March, setting a 33-month high, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index. The Index gained 5.8 percent in March, up from a 5.7 percent annual gain in February.

The 10- and 20-City Composite year-over-year indices were unchanged from the previous month with 5.2 percent and 5.9 percent annual increases, respectively.

“Home prices continue rising with the S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller National Index up 5.8% in the year ended March, the fastest pace in almost three years,” says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “While there is some regional variation, prices are rising across the U.S. Half of the 20 cities tracked by the S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller indices rose more than 6% from March 2016 to March 2017. The smallest gain of 4.1%, in New York, was roughly double the rate of inflation.

“Sales of both new and existing homes, housing starts and the National Association of Home Builders’ sentiment index are all trending higher. Over the last year, analysts suggested that one factor pushing prices higher was the unusually lowinventory of homes for sale. People are staying in their homes longer rather than selling and trading up. If mortgage rates, currently near 4%, rise further, this could deter more people from selling and keep pressure on inventories and prices. While prices cannot rise indefinitely, there is no way to tell when rising prices and mortgage rates will force a slowdown in housing.”

Ten cities reported year-over-year gains in March with Seattle, Portland and Dallas reporting the highest increases.

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