Home price gains ease in March, but big cities see growth: S&P Case-Shiller

The gains in home prices took a slight breather in March. Nationally, values rose 6.5 percent annually, unchanged compared with February, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price indexes. February’s reading was revised higher.

Larger cities, however, are seeing bigger gains. The nation’s 10 largest metropolitan markets saw home prices increase 6.5 percent annually, up from 6.4 percent in the previous month. The 20 largest cities posted a 6.8 percent annual increase, unchanged from the previous month.

“Looking across various national statistics on sales of new or existing homes, permits for new construction, and financing terms, two figures that stand out are rapidly rising home prices and low inventories of existing homes for sale,” said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Months-supply, which combines inventory levels and sales, is currently at 3.8 months, lower than the levels of the 1990s, before the housing boom and bust. Until inventories increase faster than sales, or the economy slows significantly, home prices are likely to continue rising.”

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