Home-price gains in U.S. cities slow a 15th month, miss forecast

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Home-price gains in 20 U.S. cities decelerated for a 15th straight month and were weaker than projected, pointing to continued cooling in the housing market.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index of property values increased 2.1% from a year earlier, according to data Tuesday, versus a 2.4% gain in the prior month. Prices were little changed from a month earlier.

The data underscore the overall housing market slowdown in the past year and hurdles that potential buyers confront, such as mounting personal debt and home price increases that have outstripped income gains until recently. At the same time, the solid labor market is supporting sales.

The weakest results were concentrated in West Coast markets Seattle, San Francisco and San Diego, while southwestern markets Phoenix and Las Vegas maintained their lead.

Another report Tuesday, from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, showed prices rose 4.8% in June from the same period a year earlier, and 0.2% on a month-over-month basis. The advance from May matched the median forecast. The FHFA gauge is based on conforming, conventional mortgages purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Another recent report showed existing home sales rose to a five-month high in July on lower borrowing costs and smaller home-price gains. Other data show housing starts for single-family homes climbed to the highest level since January as building permits rebounded.

"Home price gains continue to trend down, but may be leveling off to a sustainable level," Philip Murphy, global head of index governance at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in a statement.

Bloomberg News
Home prices Housing market Purchase Housing affordability S&P CoreLogic