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Atlanta Home Prices Post Double-Digit Increase in Case-Shiller

by Peter Thomas Ricci

In general, home prices have been slowing down a bit in 2014; was that the case in our market, according to the latest Case-Shiller?

Home prices in the Atlanta area rose by both monthly and yearly measures in the latest Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the definitive measure of home prices from Standard & Poor’s.

Measuring prices through March, the indices found that prices in Atlanta rose 1.0 percent from February and 15.7 percent from March. According to S&P’s analysis, Atlanta’s yearly return was among the nation’s strongest.

Home Price Increases Continue to Slow Nationally

On the national front, home prices continued to increase, though they continued to show signs of a slowdown:

  • The 10- and 20-City Composites, which track home prices in the nation’s largest metro areas, rose 0.8 and 0.9 percent from February to March, respectively.
  • By year-over-year measures, the 10- and 20-City Composites rose 12.6 and 12.4 percent; though still in double-digit territory, those are lesser increases than in months past.
  • The notable sign of a price slowdown, though, came in the Case-Shiller’s measure of first quarter home price growth. In 2014’s first quarter, prices increased just 0.2 percent.

David M. Blitzer – Housing Indicators “Mixed”

David M. Blitzer, the chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said March’s numbers make one thing clear about where home prices are heading.

“The year-over-year changes suggest that prices are rising more slowly,” Blitzer said. “Annual price increases for the two Composites have slowed in the last four months and 13 cities saw annual price changes moderate in March. The National Index also showed decelerating gains in the last quarter.”

Overall, Blitzer concluded, the housing market remains a complex one, with many trends and policies running in counterintuitive directions.

“Housing indicators remain mixed,” he said. “April housing starts recovered the drop in March but virtually all the gain was in apartment construction, not single family homes; new home sales also rebounded from recent weakness but remain soft; mortgage rates are near a seven-month low, but recent comments from the Fed point to bank lending standards as a problem; other comments include arguments that student loan debt is preventing many potential first time buyers from entering the housing market.”

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