Quantcast
Home / Construction / US home prices rise at slow pace for 2nd straight month

US home prices rise at slow pace for 2nd straight month

Houses stand in suburban Salt Lake City in April. On Tuesday, the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home-price index suggested that U.S. home prices increased modestly in August, marking a trend that could make home buying affordable for Americans.. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Houses stand in suburban Salt Lake City in April. On Tuesday, the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home-price index suggested that U.S. home prices increased modestly in August, marking a trend that could make home buying affordable for Americans.. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

By CHRISTOPHER RUGABER
AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices increased modestly in August, marking a trend that could make home buying affordable for Americans.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home-price index, released Tuesday, rose 2% in August from what it was a year earlier. That matched July’s annual increase for being the slowest in seven years. Wages have been increasing faster than home prices since February, reversing a yearslong trend.

Slower price gains combined with low mortgage rates have helped the housing market revive this year after a slump in 2018. Steady hiring and an unemployment rate at a 50-year low have also forced companies to offer higher pay, making it easier for more people to afford house payments. And the average rate on a 30-year mortgage was 3.75% last week, down sharply from 4.86% a year earlier.

Sales of existing homes have increased 3.9% in the past year, and sales of new homes have soared 15.5% from what they were a year earlier.

As many once-hot Western markets cool off, cities in the Southeast are starting to see the nation’s fastest price gains. Phoenix reported the biggest increase, with prices rising 6.3% from a year ago. But Charlotte saw the next highest gain, at 4.5%, followed by Tampa at 4.3% and Atlanta with 4%.

Home prices in Seattle barely rose, increasing just 0.7% from a year ago, and they slipped 0.1% in San Francisco.

The supply of homes remains low, as builders continue to complain about a lack of available land and shortage of construction workers.

Those trends have pushed up the cost of low-priced homes more quickly than expensive ones in many cities. In Tampa, for example, homes priced below $195,000 have seen prices rise by nearly double digits in the past year, whereas the highest-priced homes, above $284,000, have seen price gains at less than half that pace, according to the Case-Shiller data.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*