U.S. home prices increased just 0.2% on an unadjusted basis in February compared with January and increased 5.3% compared with February 2015, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index.
The index’s 10-city composite increased 4.6% in the year to February compared with 5.0% previously. The 20-city composite’s year-over-year gain was 5.4%, down from 5.7% the prior month.
According to the index, Portland, Ore.; Seattle; and Denver reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities with another month of annual price increases. Portland led the way with an 11.9% year-over-year price increase, followed by Seattle with 11.0%, and Denver with a 9.7% increase. Seven cities reported greater price increases in the year ending February 2016 versus the year ending January 2016.
The 10-city composite recorded a 0.1% month-over-month increase, while the 20-city composite posted a 0.2% increase in February. After adjustment, the index recorded a 0.4% month-over-month increase. The 10-city composite posted a 0.6% increase, and the 20-city composite reported a 0.7% month-over-month increase after adjustment. Fourteen of 20 cities reported increases in February before seasonal adjustment; after seasonal adjustment, only 10 cities increased for the month.
“Home prices continue to rise twice as fast as inflation, but the pace is easing off in the most recent numbers,” says David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
“The year-over-year figures for the 10-city and 20-city composites both slowed, and 13 of the 20 cities saw slower year-over-year numbers compared to last month,” adds Blitzer. “The slower growth rate is evident in the monthly seasonally adjusted numbers: Six cities experienced smaller monthly gains in February compared to January, when no city saw growth. Among the six were Seattle; Portland, Ore.; and San Diego, all of which were very strong last time.”