The numbers: The S&P/Case-Shiller national index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.7% in the three-month period ending in December, and was up 6.4% compared to a year before. The 20-city index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.6% for the month, and 6.3% for the year.
The Econoday consensus forecast was for a 0.7% monthly increase in the seasonally adjusted 20-city index.
What happened: Home prices are still hot. The national index showed an acceleration in prices, with the three-month period ending in November rising an annual 6.3%. The 20-city index reversed those two numbers, rising one tick less in December than the 6.4% it charted in November.
The big picture: Robust demand and lean supply of both new and previously-owned homes keep pushing prices higher. Case-Shiller’s broader national index is now 6.3% higher than the peak it previously touched at the height of the housing bubble, while the 20-city index remains 1% shy of that 2006 level.
In December, the West was still the best — or the hottest, anyway. Seattle, Las Vegas, and San Francisco were the metro areas with the strongest price gains. Nine cities had stronger price growth in December than in November.
Seattle prices are now 24% higher than they were at the height of the bubble, while in Las Vegas, they’re still 27% lower than the 2006 peak.
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