USA single-family home prices rose in April due to tight inventory of houses on the market and low mortgage rates, a survey showed on Tuesday, and economists see no imminent change in the trend.
The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city Home Price Index was up 0.3 percent sequentially in April. Across all nine Census divisions, US home prices rose 5.5 percent over the year.
Tuesday's monthly Case-Shiller home price index, which uses data from April, tells a familiar story about the Seattle metro area: Our home prices are among the fastest-rising in the nation. Blitzer said. "Since demand is exceeding supply and financing is available, there is nothing right now to keep prices from going up".
The annual increase in March was 6 percent, while in February and January prices were up 6.7 percent from a year earlier. The increase in real, or inflation-adjusted, home prices in the last three years shows that demand is rising. "At the same time, the supply of homes for sale has barely kept pace with demand and the inventory of new or existing homes for sale shrunk down to only a four-month supply". That's the lowest year over year gain in 5 months and once again Chicago finds itself 4th from the bottom in the ranking of the metro areas.
With mortgage rates hovering at about 4 percent and high-paying tech jobs that make for a comfortable house-hunting budget, it's not hard to see why Seattle's housing market has become so competitive. Blitzer said. "For the moment, conditions appear favorable for avoiding a crash". Low mortgage rates are also encouraging more Americans to buy homes.
"The question is not if home prices can climb without any limit; they can't", Blitzer said in a statement.
The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, the most popular US home loan, was 4.13 percent in the latest week, down from 4.47 percent three months earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. And it marked the metropolitan area's slowest year-over-year price growth since September.
Housing market observers have long speculated a looming increase in mortgage rates could slow demand, in turn putting the brakes on home prices. Portland followed at 9.3 percent; Dallas at 8.4 percent; Denver at 8.2 percent; and Detroit at 7.4 percent.
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