Home Prices on the Rise

Real Estate
Home prices rose in June for the 16th consecutive month nationwide but at a slower pace than in recent months.
Market researcher CoreLogic says June home sales prices were up 11.9% year-over-year and up 1.9% from May.
But that's a slower month-to-month rise than 2.6% in May from April and the almost 2.8% increase in April from March, revised figures show.
CoreLogic senior economist Molly Boesel says the differences are probably seasonal, as price gains frequently pick up in the spring selling season.
The 1.9% month-to-month increase "is still a good month," Boesel says.
Other data point to slowing increases, which many economists have predicted given the strong price appreciation of the past year.
When adjusted for seasonal factors, asking prices for homes in July dropped 0.3%, marking the first month-over-month decline since November 2012, shows new data from real estate website Trulia.
Search Real Estate Prices. Asking prices rose 3.3% in the three months ended in July, compared with a 4.2% jump in the prior three months, Trulia says.
The slowdown in asking prices in July could be the "start of the return to normal price gains," says Jed Kolko, Trulia economist.
In the first six months of this year, home prices in the U.S. appreciated 10%, CoreLogic says. That's the fastest pace since 1977.
Kolko says rising mortgage interest rates, expanding inventory and declining investor interest in home purchases are contributing to a slowdown in price gains.
The latest Freddie Mac data show the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate loan at 4.39%, up from 3.55% a year ago. Higher rates make homes less affordable.
In June, the supply of existing homes for sale edged up to 5.2 months from 5 months in May, the National Association of Realtors says. That's how long it would take for all of the homes to sell if no more supply came on the market. Generally, Realtors consider a six- to seven-month supply as a balanced market.
In many markets, especially in the West Coast, inventories are far tighter and have helped lead to price gains exceeding the national average. Courtesy of USA Today.
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