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Atlanta Home Prices Continue Ascent in Case-Shiller

by Peter Thomas Ricci

April was another strong month for local home prices, according to the latest statistical wizardry of the Case-Shiller.

Home prices in the Atlanta area posted another strong month of returns in April, rising 2.0 percent from March and 13.7 percent from April 2013, according to the latest Case-Shiller Home Price Indices from Standards & Poor’s.

Atlanta was one of only five cities measured by S&P that posted a monthly increase of more than 2 percent, which bodes well for the market during the spring homebuying season.

National Home Prices Continue Slowdown

Notwithstanding our local market’s progress, things continue to slowdown for home prices on the national scale:

  • Though prices still rose by double digits, with the 10- and 20-City Composites rising 10.8 percent year-over-year, that’s nearly two full percentage points less than March’s yearly return.
  • Nineteen of the 20 cities tracked by S&P saw lower annual gains in April than March, with only Boston showing higher activity.
  • Meanwhile, the 10- and 20-City Composites rose 1.0 and 1.1 percent, respectively, from March to April.

Blitzer – Economic Factors “Favor” Housing

David M. Blitzer, the chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said that though home prices did slow down in April, a number of economic factors favor housing.

“Near term economic factors favor further gains in housing: mortgage rates are lower than a year ago, the Fed is expected to keep interest rates steady until mid-2015 and the labor market is improving,” Blitzer said.

On a more long-term basis, though, Blitzer did add that housing still has to clear some hurdles.

“However, housing is not back to normal,” he said. “Prices are being supported by cash sales, low inventories and declining foreclosure and REO sales. First-time homebuyers are not back in force and qualifying for a mortgage remains challenging. The question is whether housing will bounce back before the Fed begins to tighten sometime next year.”

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