Case Shiller: Home Prices Up 13% as Winter Slows Growth

Winter may be having an impact on slowing home price growth in the top 10 and 20 metros nationwide, despite prices rising by more than 13% year-over-year through January, according to the latest data from S&P/Case Shiller. 

Home prices in the 10-City and 20-City composites rose 13.5% and 13.2% year-over-year, as noted this week by the S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Indices.

While both composites showed significant gains through January 2014, the HPI notes that the 20-City grouping posted its third consecutive monthly decline of 0.1%, while the 10-City composite remained “relatively unchanged,” according to S&P/Case Shiller.

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The cold weather may be to blame for causing a slowdown in home price increases and putting the housing recovery on hold, suggested David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. 

“Twelve cities reported declining prices in January versus December; eight of those were worse than the month before,” Blitzer said in a statement. “From the bottom in 2012, prices are up 23% and the housing market is showing signs of moving forward with more normal price increases.”

Only seven cities—Las Vegas, Miami, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Tampa and Washington—showed positive monthly price returns in January. 

On the flip side, Chicago and Seattle declined the most and posted their fourth consecutive drops in average home prices. Cleveland, though it continued its declined, showed the most improvement with -1.5% in December to -0.3% in January, S&P/Case Shiller noted. 

The winter “freeze” on home price growth may be indicative of the housing recovery’s future, as analysts anticipate more moderate home price increases than compared to previous years.

“Expectations and recent data point to continued home price gains for 2014,” said Blitzer. “Although most analysts do not expect the same rapid increases we saw last year, the consensus is for moderating gains.” 

Written by Jason Oliva

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