US Home Prices For April Rise Slower Than Expected

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House price growth in the USA unexpectedly slowed down in April, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller National Home Price Index.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index's 10-City Composite rose 4.9 percent year-over-year, down from a 5.2 percent gain in March, while its 20-City Composite rose 5.7 percent, down from a 5.9 percent gain in March.

The national home price index increased 5.5 percent in April, versus 5.8 percent in March.

This steady pace of home price appreciation is expected to continue, added Barclays. Blitzer said. "Since demand is exceeding supply and financing is available, there is nothing right now to keep prices from going up".

US home prices rose at a healthy clip in April, though the increase slowed a bit from the previous two months. Analysts were expecting an increase of 5.9 percent for the month, according to Thomson Reuters consensus estimates. The increase in real, or inflation-adjusted, home prices in the last three years shows that demand is rising. 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. "While prices can not rise indefinitely, there is no way to tell when rising prices and mortgage rates will force a slowdown in housing".

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Seattle had the highest annual increase in April at 12.9 percent, while Portland, Ore., had the second-highest price gain at 9.3 percent, according to Case-Shiller.

"High demand from home buyers and a limited supply of homes for sale are the main ingredients in the recipe for rising home prices".

Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell said the price increases are being driven by Millennials beginning to buy homes amid short supply. Moreover, mortgage default rates are low and household debt levels are manageable. The real price of homes remains almost 34 percent lower than the last market peak in the summer of 2006 and is also running about 10 percent lower than the real prices in 2000. It tracks the prices of typical single-family homes located in each metropolitan area provided.

Housing market observers have long speculated a looming increase in mortgage rates could slow demand, in turn putting the brakes on home prices.

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