Home price growth slowed in December according to the S&P Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index. Year-over-year home prices rose by 4.6 percent in December as compared to November’s reading of 6.8 percent growth. Rising mortgage rates caused home prices to dip as potential buyers delayed home purchases and demand for homes fell.
Craig J. Lazzara, managing director of S&P Dow Jones Indices, said: “The prospect of stable, or higher mortgage rates means that mortgage financing remains a headwind for home prices, while economic weakness, including the possibility of a recession, may also constrain potential buyers. Mr. Lazzara concluded: “Given these prospects for a challenging macroeconomic environment, home prices may well continue to weaken.”
The S&P Case-Shiller National Home Price Index fell by a seasonally-adjusted figure of -0.30 percent in December but rose by 5.80 percent year over year.
S&P Case-Shiller 20-City Index Shows Slowing Home Price Growth for December
Nationally home prices fell by -0.30 percent month-to-month and were 5.80 percent higher year-over-year.
Case-Shiller’s 20-City Home Price Index is widely used as a benchmark for U.S. home prices; December’s top three cities for rising home prices were Miami, Florida with 15.90 percent year-over-year home price growth; Tampa, Florida followed with 13.9 percent home price growth and Atlanta, Georgia reported 10.4 percent year-over-year home price growth in December. The 20-City Index reported 4.60 percent year-over-year home price growth as compared to November’s reading of 6.80 percent year-over-year home price growth.
Home prices fell the most in formerly hot markets; in San Francisco, California home prices dropped by -4.20 percent year-over-year and home prices fell by -1.80 percent in Seattle, Washington. Portland, Oregon had the lowest pace of home price growth with a year-over-year reading of 1.10 percent.
In related news, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported home price growth data for homes owned or financed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Home prices rose 8.40 percent year-over-year between the fourth quarters of 2021 and 2022.
Analysts said that lower home prices were caused by rising mortgage rates and lower demand for homes caused by buyers’ concerns about a possible recession. Limited supplies of available homes helped reduce potential losses caused by less buyer demand for homes. High mortgage rates, competition with cash buyers, relatively high home prices, and slim supplies of available homes continue to present challenges to first-time and moderate-income home buyers.