Home Prices Stage Double-Digit Advance in October 2013: Case-Shiller

Home prices were up double digits year-over-year in October 2013, marking nearly a year and a half of consecutive monthly gains in the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices 10-City and 20-City Composites that are largely concentrated in a few areas. 

The 13.6% gain from October 2012 marks the seventeenth straight month that both Composites increased on an annual basis, says Case-Shiller. 

All 20 cities posted growth growth between October 2012 and October 2013, with 13 showing yearly acceleration in prices from September 2013. Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco each posted increases of more than 20%. 

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Monthly numbers, however, suggest a slowdown in the coming year, according to David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. 

“Both Composites’ annual returns have been in double-digit territory since March 2013 and increasing; now up 13.6^ in the year ending in October,” he said in a statement. “However, monthly numbers show we are living on borrowed time and the boom is fading.” 

On a monthly basis, both composites were up 0.2% in October, with 18 cities posting lower monthly rates than in September. San Francisco’s index went down slightly after posting 19 straight months of gains, while Phoenix held onto its streak with its 25th consecutive increase, according to Case-Shiller.

Ten cities saw positive monthly returns in October, led by Las Vegas with a 1.2% increase and followed by Miami, which posted a 1.1% monthly gain. 

However, cities including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, and Denver declined from September, while New York remained flat. 

“The key economic question facing housing is the Fed’s future course to scale back quantitative easing and how this will affect mortgage rates,” Blitzer said. “Other housing data paint a mixed picture suggesting that we may be close to the peak gains in prices. However, other economic data point to somewhat faster growth in the new year.”

Most 2014 forecasts are predicting single-digit growth, he said. 

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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