Case-Shiller Home Price Index posts largest annual increase since 2005

Home prices grew annually by leaps and bounds in March, with the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index surging 13.2% higher year over year.

That’s up from February’s 12.0% annual increase, marking the biggest yearly gain since December 2005. March was the 10th straight month of home price acceleration, with soaring demand combining with inventory near historical lows to continue driving prices skyward.

Craig J. Lazzara, managing director and global head of index investment strategy at S&P DJI, noted that March’s overall yearly gain “lies very comfortably in the top decile of historical performance.” The 10- and 20-City sub-indices, which track prices in the nation’s largest cities, also posted robust annual gains, with the two indices up 12.8% (compared to 11.7% the previous month) and 13.3% (up from 12.0%) in March, respectively.

“Housing prices continued to rise robustly in March 2021. … The market’s strength is broadly-based: all 20 cities rose, and all 20 gained more in the 12 months ended in March than they had gained in the 12 months ended in February,” Lazzaro said.

“March’s price gains in every city are above that city’s median level, and rank in the top quartile of all reports in 19 cities.”

More gains appear to be in store for the near future, with the cocktail of factors fueling price gains unlikely to abate, according to CoreLogic deputy chief economist Selma Hepp.

“Massive home buying demand shows no signs of abating despite some rise in mortgage rates and concerns of overheated home price growth,” said Hepp. “At the same time, hopes that new listings would proliferate as mass vaccinations encourage baby boomers to list their homes is showing little signs of taking place.”

Month to month, the index jumped 2.0%, making it the strongest February-to-March increase in recorded history of data.

Phoenix’s 20.0% annual increase led all cities tracked by CoreLogic for the 22nd straight month, with San Diego (up 19.1%) and Seattle (up 18.3%) close behind. Prices were strongest in the West (up 15.1% year over year) and Southwest (14.8%), but every region logged double-digit yearly gains.


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