Home price appreciation slowed throughout 64% of the U.S. from March through May, according to Black Knight. The crawl in home price gains combined with steady interest rates are helping to stabilize housing affordability and could lead to an uptick in purchase applications if the trends continue.
Additionally, 66% of the largest metro areas in the country had declines in appreciation as well. The largest declines all came from regression of some of the hottest housing markets. The top five decelerating markets of the three-month period are all represented by the West Coast.
The reduction in appreciation rates for most of the country comes as somewhat of a surprise since May is usually the strongest month for home price growth. While every state had increasing home values during the month and the U.S. average home climbed 0.93%, it was the lowest rate posted during May in the last four years.
"The annual rate of appreciation declined each month from March through May, the first three-month slowdown in almost four years," said Ben Graboske, executive vice president of Black Knight's data and analytics division.
Despite this overall downturn in the three month window, the annual rate of home price growth sits at 6.3%, a historically high figure. Home prices aren't falling, but the persistent rate of increase is being harnessed.
"For more than six years, we've been riding a wave of home price appreciation above the 25-year average. The question now is whether tightening affordability will end that streak and if more deceleration is on the horizon," Graboske said.