PhotoHome prices continued their rise across the country over the last 12 months, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.

The Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, was up 5.4% from the same time a year ago, with the 10-City Composite up 5.1%, and the 20-City gaining 5.7%.

Portland, San Francisco, and Denver continue to report the highest year over year gains among the 20 cities. Portland led the way with an advance of 11.4%, followed by San Francisco at 10.3% and Denver with a 10.2% increase.

Thirteen cities reported greater price increases in the year ending December 2015 versus the year ending November 2015. Phoenix had the longest streak of year-over-year increases, reporting a gain of 6.3% in December -- the twelfth consecutive gain in annual price gains. Detroit posted a 7.1% advance, the largest annual for the month.

“Sparked by the stock market’s turmoil since the beginning of the year, some are concerned that the current economic expansion is aging quite rapidly,” said David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. The recovery is six years old, but recoveries do not typically die of old age. Housing construction, like much of the economy, got off to a slow start in 2009-2010 and is only now beginning to show some serious strength. Continued increases in prices of existing homes, as shown in the S&P/Case-Shiiller Home Price Indices, should encourage further activity in new construction.”

Month-over-month

Before seasonal adjustment, the National Index posted a gain of 0.1% month-over-month in December. The 10-City Composite slipped by 0.1% and the 20-City Composite was unchanged in December.

After seasonal adjustment, the National and 20-City Composites Index both recorded a monthly increase of 0.8%. The 10-City Composite was up 0.7%. Ten of 20 cities reported increases in December before seasonal adjustment; after seasonal adjustment, 19 cities increased for the month.

“While home prices continue to rise, the pace is slowing a bit,” said Blitzer. Seasonally adjusted, Miami had lower prices this month than last and 10 other cities saw smaller increases than last month. Year-over-year, seven cities saw the rate of price increases wane. Even with some moderation, home prices in all but one city are rising faster than the 2.2% year-over-year increase in the CPI core rate of inflation.


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