U.S. home prices increased 0.3% nationally on an unadjusted basis in August compared with July and increased 4.6% compared with August 2014, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index.
Month over month, the index's 10-city and 20-city composites reported gains of 0.3% and 0.4%, respectively. After seasonal adjustment, the national index posted a gain of 0.4%, while the 10-city and 20-city composites each increased 0.1%.
On an unadjusted basis, 18 of the 20 cities tracked reported increases; however, after seasonal adjustment, five were down, 11 were up, and four were unchanged.
Year over year, the 10-city composite increased 4.7% compared with August 2014, while the 20-city composite saw a 5.1% increase.
Cities that saw the highest gains in home price appreciation in August, on a year-over-year basis, included San Francisco, Denver and Portland, with increases of 10.7%, 10.7%, and 9.4%, respectively.
San Francisco and Denver were the only cities with double-digit, year-over-year increases in August, according to the report. Phoenix – which had the longest streak of year-over-year increases with nine consecutive price gains – saw its home prices increase of 4.9%, year over year, in August. Portland posted a 9.4% annual increase – up from 8.5% in July.
‘Home prices continue to climb at a four percent to five percent annual rate across the country,’ says David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee for S&P Dow Jones Indices. ‘Most other recent housing indicators also show strength. Housing starts topped an annual rate of 1.2 million units in the latest report, with continuing strength in both single-family homes and apartments. The National Association of Home Builders sentiment survey, reflecting current strength, reached the highest level since 2005 – before the housing collapse. Sales of existing homes are running about 5.5 million units annually, with inventories of about five months of sales.
‘However, September new home sales took an unexpected and sharp drop, as low inventories were cited as a possible cause,’ he adds.