Phoenix is still hot. Since last June, house prices appreciated faster in metro Phoenix than in any of the other 20 areas covered by the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index. In real, inflation-adjusted values, house prices in Phoenix increased 4% from December 2018 to December 2019. For the USA as a whole, real prices increased 1%.

Real house prices fell 1% in Chicago and New York from 12 months earlier.

Upward Momentum Still Slowing

Houses appreciated more slowly the last 12 months compared to the previous 12 months in 15 of the 20 metros covered by Case-Shiller. We saw upward price momentum increase in 2 metros, Washington DC and San Diego.

Price Appreciation Over Time

Seattle is bouncing back strong. Seattle saw crazy nominal annual appreciation rates of 10% to 14% from late 2016 to early 2018 but then their real estate market hit a wall and the rate was -1% in May, June and July of last year. Since then, however, Seattle house prices rebounded strongly and December 2019 house prices (nominal) were up 4% from December 2018.

San Francisco prices are also rebounding well. The San Francisco annual appreciation rate was -1% last September but in just 3 months it rebounded to +2% in December 2019.

Las Vegas, the high flyer from mid-2018 to mid-2019, hit 14% annual appreciation in August 2018 but fell fast after that. The last 3 months, house price appreciation for Las Vegas has only been 2% which is the same as the general inflation rate.

It appears that rising mortgage rates in 2018 spurred falling appreciation rates in 2019, and the falling mortgage rates in 2019 stopped the falling appreciation rates and spurred rebounds in several metros.

30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Rate

The USA as a whole is starting to see an increase in house price appreciation. National appreciation was running at 3% from last May through November but bumped up to 4% in December.

Note. You can find interactive versions of these charts for all 20 Case-Shiller metros here.

The December data is the latest available from Case-Shiller. The data is a 3-month moving average so what they call December is the October-December average. It might be better to think of the December data as running quarterly data, that is, data for the quarter ending in December.

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