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Home prices continue to hit record highs in March

by Rincey Abraham

Home prices hit a 33-month high in March on S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, which continues the trend of rising home prices across the nation. The index saw a 5.8 percent annual gain in March, which is up from 5.7 percent in February.

The national index saw an 0.8 percent month-over-month gain in March while the 10-city composite and 20-city composite saw 0.9 percent and 1.0 percent increases month-over-month, respectively. The 10-city composite and the 20-city composite saw 5.2 percent and 5.9 percent increases, respectively, which is unchanged from February.

“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,” David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in a statement. “While there is some regional variation, prices are rising across the United States. Half of the 20 cities tracked by the S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller indices rose more than 6 [percent] from March 2016 to March 2017.”

Ten cities reported higher price increases year-over-year in March 2017 compared to February 2017. Chicago saw a 5.1 percent increase over a year ago, with March 2017 levels hitting 136.97. This is a 1.1 percent increase from February.

“Over the last year, analysts suggested that one factor pushing prices higher was the unusually low inventory of homes for sale,” Blitzer said. “People are staying in their homes longer rather than selling and trading up. If mortgage rates, currently near 4 [percent], 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.”

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