US Home Prices Surge Despite Mortgage Rates

U.S. home prices have reached a new record high, extending the trend for the eighth consecutive month, according to data released on Tuesday. Despite mortgage rates lingering above 7% in September, historically low inventory remains a driving force behind the surge in home prices. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller US National Home Price Index reports a 0.7% increase in prices in September compared to the previous month. On a year-over-year basis, the national composite index has risen by 3.9% from September 2022. Year to date in September, the national composite, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, has experienced a remarkable 6.1% increase, well above the typical annual rise over the past 35 years.

“US home prices continued to rise in September, hitting a new record high and marking the eighth consecutive month of increases.” Source/ Internet


Factors Influencing the Market

Despite the increase in mortgage rates, which has potentially limited the number of homes sold, the persistent shortage of available inventory has remained a key factor supporting rising prices. Craig Lazzara, managing director at S&P Dow Jones Indices, suggests that unless broader economic challenges emerge, the breadth and strength of home prices are expected to persist.

Regional Disparities in Home Prices

Record Highs in Various Cities

On a seasonally adjusted basis, all 20 cities in a separate index exhibited price increases in September. Notably, home prices reached all-time highs in several cities, including Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Miami, New York, and Tampa. Year over year, Detroit led the list with a 6.7% increase, followed by San Diego at 6.5%, and New York at 6.3%. However, some cities experienced a decline in prices, with Las Vegas leading the way with a 1.9% decrease, followed by Phoenix at 1.2%, and Portland, Oregon, at 0.7%.

Regional Trends

The Northeast and Midwest regions exhibited price increases of over 5% from September 2022, maintaining their positions as the strongest housing markets in the nation. In contrast, the West, where prices have fallen compared to a year ago, remains the weakest region.

Impact of Low Inventory on Prices

Continued Influence on the Market

The latest Case-Shiller index underscores the impact of robust housing demand coupled with limited supply. Despite a steady climb in mortgage rates from 6.8% at the beginning of July to 7.3% by the end of September, home prices have continued their upward trajectory into the early fall. This phenomenon highlights the critical role that low inventory plays in pushing home prices higher, underscoring the ongoing challenges faced by prospective homebuyers.

“Prices rose 0.7% in September from the month before, according to seasonally adjusted data from the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller US National Home Price Index.” Source/ Internet


In Summary

The U.S. housing market’s resilience in the face of rising mortgage rates emphasizes the enduring influence of low inventory on home value. While challenges persist for homebuyers, the market’s overall strength, especially in certain regions, suggests that home prices are likely to maintain their upward trajectory, subject to broader economic conditions.

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