After accelerating for 14 months, Case-Shiller home-price index slows in September

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home-price index has finally started to cool, slowing to a year-over-year increase of 19.5% in September.

Although this gain was strong, it’s down from 19.8% in the previous month. September marked the first time in 14 months that the U.S. index declined on a monthly basis. Likewise, the annualized gains for the 10-city and 20-city composite indexes were down month over month; the 10-city index rose by 17.8% (down from 18.6% in August) while the 20-city index was up 19.1%, down from 19.6% a month earlier.

“If I had to choose only one word to describe September 2021’s housing-price data, the word would be ‘deceleration,’” said Craig J. Lazzara, managing director at S&P DJI. Fourteen of the 20 cities tracked by the indexes decelerated from August to September, although Lazzara noted that prices are still soaring, with all 20 cities at their all-time highs.

The slowdown, according to CoreLogic deputy chief economist Selma Hepp, is in part a typical and seasonal one, but signals exist of “a slow, albeit welcomed return to more sustainable balance between buyers and sellers.”

“There is still low availability of for-sale homes, which continues to drive price growth, but the competition has faded and assuaged some of the bidding-war intensity. Overall, home-price growth is likely to continue slowing over the next year,” she said.

One such signal, Hepp explained, is the share of homes selling above asking price, which has already dipped since it hit recent peaks this past summer.

Phoenix, with prices up 33.1% from September 2020, continued to lead the nation in year-over-year home price growth. Notably, however, the city’s yearly price increase was down from a rate of 33.3% in August. Other cities in the Sun Belt states, however, continued to see prices accelerate. Tampa (third in September with a 27.7% gain) and Miami (fourth at 25.5%), for example, each saw higher yearly price growth in September than in August.


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