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S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller: Home-price gains set fourth record in a row

by John Yellig

Home prices set another record for growth in July, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, which showed a 1.5% seasonally adjusted increase from June and a 19.7% increase from a year earlier. 

July was the fourth month in a row in which the growth rate of housing prices set a record, said, Craig Lazzara, managing director and global head of index investment strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indexes.

In Atlanta, home prices were up 2.2% on a monthly basis and 18.5% on an annual one.

“The last several months have been extraordinary not only in the level of price gains, but in the consistency of gains across the country,” Lazzara said in a press release. Prices in 19 of the 20 cities covered by the index were at all-time highs, he said. The only outlier was Chicago, which was just 0.3% below its 2006 peak. 

The 10-city composite index rose 1.4% on a monthly basis and 19.1% on a yearly basis, while the 20-city composite gained 1.5% monthly and 19.9% annually. 

“We have previously suggested that the strength in the U.S. housing market is being driven in part by a reaction to the COVID pandemic, as potential buyers move from urban apartments to suburban homes,” he said, noting that July’s data supports that hypothesis. “This demand surge may simply represent an acceleration of purchases that would have occurred anyway over the next several years. Alternatively, there may have been a secular change in locational preferences, leading to a permanent shift in the demand curve for housing.”

Colin McBurnette, a senior portfolio manager at Atlanta-based Anger Oak Capital Advisors, said he expects home prices to continue to rise at an annual rate of approximately 20% due to the current chronic supply and demand mismatch of single-family housing.

“The rise of the millennial homebuyer and the lack of investment in housing after the global financial crisis, combined with the pandemic-driven desire for more space and all-time low mortgage rates, has home prices surging,” he said.

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