The pace of home-price growth continues to decelerate across the nation, according to a new report. According to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city index, prices rose a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent in March, compared to February. Year-over-year, prices are 2.7 percent higher, beating analyst estimates of a 2.55 percent annual increase. Those numbers represent the slowest pace of annual growth since August 2012.
Only four of Case-Shiller’s 20 cities had higher price increases than in the previous month. Las Vegas, Tampa, and Phoenix saw the biggest gains. Las Vegas was the leader with an 8.2 percent annual increase, followed by Phoenix with a 6.1 percent increase, and Tampa with a 5.3 percent increase. However, these markets were hit hardest during the housing crash and as a result, they still have the farthest to climb to fully recover. Only one city, New York, was negative during the month.
While mortgage rates have been falling, existing home sales have been relatively flat so far this year. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home sales fell 0.4 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.19 million in April. New home sales fell 6.9 percent to a 673,000 annualized pace in April. Total sales have fallen 4.4 percent from a year ago.
In some markets, inventory has been rising as more homes are staying on the market longer. At the end of April, total inventory rose to 1.83 million existing homes available for sale, up from 1.67 million available in March. NAR data shows that there were 1.80 million existing homes available for sale in the same period a year ago. At the current sales pace, there is a 4.2-month supply of homes available, an increase from 3.8 months in March and from 4.0 months in April 2018.