Although home prices in all 20 U.S. cities on a closely-watched index increased in July, 15 cities saw these monthly rates decelerate, compared to June.
Over the last 12 months, home prices on average climbed 12.4 percent as measured by the 20-city composite from S&P Case Shiller.
The increase from June to July was 1.8 percent for all 20 cities For at least four months in a row, all 20 cities showed monthly gains. Phoenix posted 22 consecutive months of positive returns.
Nonetheless, the pace of price growth seems to be slowing.
“Since April 2013, all 20 cities are up month to month; however, the monthly rates of price gains have declined,” said David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “More cities are experiencing slow gains each month than the previous month, suggesting that the rate of increase may have peaked.”
The year-over-year returns show a brighter outlook with 13 cities posting improvement in July versus June. Las Vegas increased the most from +24.9 percent in June to an impressive +27.5 percent in July.
The Southwest and West still lead the housing recovery, Blitzer said, with California, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego up 24.8 percent, 20.8 percent and 20.4 percent, respectively. However, all remain far below their peak levels.
Applications for mortgages have dropped since the increase in interest rates that began last May, suggesting that the surge is affecting the housing market overall.
“The Federal Reserve’s announcement last week that ‘QE3’ bond buying will continue for the time being may have only a limited, though favorable, impact on housing,” Blitzer said.
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