Growth in Home Prices Slips as Sales Drop

(CN) – Home prices in the U.S. grew at a slower rate in November, as both sales and affordability for potential buyers have slipped, according to a report issued Tuesday.

In this Oct 2, 2018, file photo, a for sale sign stands outside a home on the market in the north Denver suburb of Thornton, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index report shows that home values increased 5.2 percent annually in November, a slight drop from 5.3 percent in October.

The index’s 20-city composite grew 4.7 percent from a year earlier, down from the 5 percent annual increase seen in October.

David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in a statement that home sales peaked in November 2017 and drifted downward in 2018.

“Home prices are still rising, but more slowly than in recent months,” he said. “The pace of price increases are being dampened by declining sales of existing homes and weaker affordability.”

Potential buyers have faced a shortage of properties at the median price of about $250,000. Growth in home prices has also exceeded wage gains for several years.

The average 30-year mortgage interest rate has recently dropped to 4.45 percent from a peak of 4.95 percent in 2018, but the rate is still above the 4.15 percent average from this time last year.

According to Tuesday’s report, the Las Vegas area saw the largest gains in home prices with a 12 percent overall increase. Phoenix and Seattle followed at 8.1 and 6.3 percent, respectively.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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