US Home-Price Appreciation Accelerates for Fourth Month

Home price growth in 20 U.S. cities accelerated for the fourth straight month, with Tampa, Fla. posting the biggest gains.

A measure of prices in those 20 cities climbed 21.2% through March after a 20.3% gain in February, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index showed on Tuesday. All 20 cities reported double-digit price increases for the year ended March, and prices in Tampa jumped 34.8%, according to a statement.

“Those of us who were anticipating a deceleration in the rate of growth of U.S. home prices will have to wait at least another month,” Craig Lazzara, managing director of S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in the release.

Homebuyers face a deteriorating affordability situation, with mortgage rates hovering around the highest levels in more than a decade. Further price appreciation threatens to add to the pain even as higher rates and economic uncertainty have begun to soften the market slightly. Redfin Corp. said earlier this month that the number of sellers cutting prices had reached its highest level since October 2019.

Nationally, prices rose 20.6%, but Lazzara of the S&P Dow Jones Indices warned that a deceleration could be on the horizon.

“Mortgages are becoming more expensive as the Federal Reserve has begun to raise interest rates, suggesting that the macroeconomic environment may not support the extraordinary growth in house prices for much longer,” Lazzara said. . “While it can be safely predicted that price gains will begin to slow, the timing of the deceleration is a tougher choice.”