U.S. home prices in July registered their smallest annual gains since late 2012, amounting to a “significant slowdown,” according to the closely-followed Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller indices.
The 20-city index released Tuesday indicates that prices rose 6.7 percent in July from a year earlier, S&P/Case-Shiller said.
That is the smallest year-over-year increase since November 2012. It is also a continuation of a slowdown in home price gains.
As of July, average home prices are back to autumn 2004 levels, S&P/Case-Shiller said.
Price gains diminished year-over-year in 19 of the 20 cities. Las Vegas, Miami and San Francisco were the only cities with double-digit increases from July 2013.
Monthly gains were also smaller, compared to June, in 17 cities. San Francisco prices, among the highest in the nation, saw a slight decrease of 0.4 percent in July.
However, home prices are still rising two or three times the rate of inflation, said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
While the year-over-year figures are trending downward, home prices are still rising month-to-month, although at a slower rate than what we are used to seeing over the past couple of years,” said Blitzer.
Las Vegas, one of the hardest hit housing markets in the foreclosure crisis that accompanied the recession, continues to lead cities in annual price gains. Prices in Las Vegas were up 12.8 percent year over year.
Phoenix, a city that commonly saw double-digit gains as prices started climbing sharply, posted its lowest annual return since February 2012 — 5.7 percent.