Case-Shiller: Home prices set 30-month high in December

And 12 cities reported higher price increases for the year ending in December than for the year ending in November.

The group's national index climbed 5.8% from the same month year ago, up from 5.6% annual growth the prior month.

The strongest annual increase was recorded in Seattle at 10.8% with Portland at 10.0%.

In inflation adjusted terms, house price gains were running at 3.8%, versus an average clip of 1.3% since 1975.

He added, "With all 20 cities seeing prices rise over the past year, questions about whether this is a normal housing market or if prices could be heading for a fall are natural".

Home prices have now risen in each of the past six months after falling in each of the prior three months.

Home prices continued their seemingly unstoppable ascent in the latest data from the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices.

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Higher mortgage rates tend to put a damper on price growth because they drive up the monthly cost of a mortgage.

There will still be concerns surrounding affordability, especially if there is a fresh increase in bond yields, and market nerves are liable to increase if there is any evidence of price increases accelerating over the next few months as fears surrounding a crash would be likely to increase.

Home prices keep climbing in South Florida and across major metro areas nationwide. If this were to continue that would mean that eventually Chicago would rise in the rankings of annual appreciation rates.

Blitzer noted that new hope sales were higher than in recent years, at 555,000 in 2016, but still under the average pace of 700,000 since 1990.

And while rising home prices can trigger concerns about inflation, Blitzer said that the speed at which they are now growing "is not alarming", citing low inventory as a factor for the rise. Home prices are rising, but the speed is not alarming.Another indicator that home price levels are normal can be seen in the charts of Seattle and Portland OR. Average rates for 30-year fixed mortgages rose from roughly 3.5% around Election Day to 4.32% at the end of December, according to mortgage company Freddie Mac. Markets with higher home prices are hit harder by rate increases.

"Looking at real or inflationadjusted home prices based on the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Index and the Consumer Price Index, the annual increase in home prices is now 3.8%", Mr.

December's numbers reflect the peak of a sharp rise in mortgage rates following the US election.

  • Darren Santiago