Home prices flatlined in April, Case-Shiller says

Home prices flatlined in April, Case-Shiller says

The numbers: The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city index was unchanged in April compared to March on a seasonally adjusted basis, and was 2.5% higher compared to a year ago. That was the 13th straight month in which annual growth slowed, and the lowest pace of annual price gains since August 2012.

What happened: Home prices continue to rise, but at a much slower pace. The cities with the strongest annual gains are still those in warm climates which were among the areas hardest-hit by the housing crisis: Las Vegas, Tampa, and Phoenix. But their rates of price growth are hardly the double-digit gains enjoyed by Seattle, San Francisco, and others not that long ago.

Big picture: A slower pace of price gains should help attract buyers, particularly those who have been frustrated by a competitive and pricey housing market. But at a certain point, would-be buyers will shy away from pulling the trigger at the “top” of the market, if they believe prices are likely to start falling.

Still, while the overall 20-city data point to a slowdown, the individual numbers are not bad. The slowest monthly pace of change was in New York, which was flat, while the slowest annual growth was in Seattle, also unchanged.

What they’re saying: Just last month, David Blitzer, who ran the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, which compiles and distributes the index, bemoaned the state of housing. “Given the broader economic picture, housing should be doing better,” Blitzer said. Read more

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