U.S. Home prices rose by a non-seasonally adjusted 0.4% in August according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index. That came in higher than the estimate for a rise of 0.3% in the 20-city index. Year over year, prices rose 5.1%, which matched expectations.
The survey, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, recorded a slightly higher year-over-year gain with a 4.7% annual increase in August 2015 versus a 4.6% increase in July 2015. The 10-City Composite increased 4.7% in the year to August compared to 4.5% in the prior month. The 20-City Composite’s year-over-year gain was 5.1% versus 4.9% in the year to July
“Home prices continue to climb at a 4% to 5% annual rate across the country,” says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee for S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Most other recent housing indicators also show strength. Housing starts topped an annual rate of 1.2 million units in the latest report with continuing strength in both single family homes and apartments.”
The National Association of Home Builders sentiment survey, reflecting current strength, reached the highest level since 2005, before the housing collapse. Sales of existing homes are running about 5.5 million units annually with inventories of about five months of sales,” Blitzer added. “However, September new home sales took an unexpected and sharp drop as low inventories were cited as a possible cause.”