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Refinance

If you thought you had already seen how high property prices could go, think again. According to both the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) seasonally-adjusted monthly House Price Index (HPI) and the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index, price tags continued their vertiginous ascent in August, defying seasonal trends. 

The FHFA HPI, which measures changes in single-family home values based on data from all 50 states and more than 400 American cities, indicated that U.S. house prices rose 0.6% month-to-month and 5.6% year-to-year. 

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index covers major metropolitan areas, which are aggregated to form two composites—one comprising ten metro areas, the other comprising all 20. It reported that home-price growth rose by 2.6%, more than doubling its 1.0% performance the previous month. In addition, 13 of the 20 metro markets reported month-over-month price increases. “On a year-to-date basis, the national composite has risen 5.8%, which is well above the median full calendar year increase in more than 35 years of data,” Case-Shiller’s managing director, Craig J. Lazzara noted.

Regional Differences

Real estate is, by nature, a divided market with significant regional differences. However, most areas have remained extremely strong, with some cities reaching new record high property prices. 

“U.S. and regional house price gains remained strong over the last 12 months,” according to Dr. Nataliya Polkovnichenko, FHFA’s supervisory economist. “The South Atlantic division showed moderate weakness in August, (but) the remaining census divisions posted positive price appreciation from the previous month.” The South Atlantic division had a 0.2% drop compared to the previous month, while the Pacific and East North Central divisions showed a 1.1% gain. In yearly comparisons, the Middle Atlantic division had an 8.6% increase as the Mountain division trailed behind with a 2.4% gain. 

The Case-Shiller Index highlights similar trends. “One measure of the strength of the housing market is the relationship of current prices to their historical levels,” says Lazzara. “On that dimension, it’s worth noting that the national composite, the 10-city composite, and seven individual cities stand at their all-time highs.” The cities hitting all-time highs are Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Miami, and New York.

Experts remain cautious as to what the future may hold. “Although housing prices have increased significantly this year, climbing 5% from the early-year low, higher mortgage rates and seasonal trends will slow further monthly gains—with some possible declines in winter months,” said Selma Hepp, chief economist at CoreLogic. “Nevertheless, the year-to-date gains indicate that growth will pick up through the end of 2023 compared to last year’s slump during this time period.”

We’ll keep you updated on further developments. In the meantime, if you’d like more information about buying/selling or refinancing in today’s market, give us a call or drop us an email.

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