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Thursday, March 06, 2014

Trulia: Asking House Prices up 10.4% year-over-year in February, Price increases "Slowdown"

by Calculated Risk on 3/06/2014 02:53:00 PM

From Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko: What The Home-Price Slowdown Really Looks Like

Nationally, asking home prices rose 10.4% year-over-year in February 2014, down slightly after peaking in November 2013. But the year-over-year change is an average of the past twelve months and therefore obscures the most recent trends in prices. Looking at quarter-over-quarter changes instead, it’s clear that price gains have been slowing for most of the last year: asking home prices rose just 1.9% in February – a rate similar to those recorded in January and December – compared with increases near 2.5% from July 2013 to November 2013 and over 3% from April 2013 to June 2013. The quarter-over-quarter change in asking prices topped out at 3.5% in April 2013 and now, at 1.9%, the increase is just over half of that peak.
The 10 U.S. metros with the biggest year-over-year price increases in February 2014 all experienced a severe housing bust after the bubble popped (by “severe,” we mean a price drop from peak to trough of at least 30%, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency index). Why? After prices fell in these markets, homes looked like bargains to investors and other buyers. At the same time, price drops also spurred foreclosures, which forced many families to become renters. Price drops and stronger rental demand together create the ideal conditions for investors to buy and rent out single-family homes, which helped boost home prices.

In February, rents rose 3.4% year-over-year nationally. In 20 the 25 largest rental markets, February’s increase was larger than the year-over-year rent increase from three months earlier, in November. emphasis added
It appears the year-over-year asking price gains are slowing, but asking prices are still increasing.

In November 2013, year-over-year asking prices were up 12.2%. In December, the year-over-year increase in asking home prices slowed slightly to 11.9%. In January, the year-over-year increase was 11.4%, and now, in February, the increase was 10.4%.

As Kolko notes, the slowdown has started - but prices are still increasing.

Note: These asking prices are SA (Seasonally Adjusted) - and adjusted for the mix of homes - and this suggests further house price increases, but at a slower rate, over the next few months on a seasonally adjusted basis.