S&P Case Shiller’s adjusted 20-city house price index rose a very solid and slightly higher-than-expected 1.0% in March with gains across all cities and well balanced gains across all regions.
These gains, however, were not confirmed by the Federal Housing Finance Agencyhouse price index, which rose a lower-than-expected 0.3% in March. The most optimistic reading for March came from Black Knight Financial Services (BKFS), a Fidelity National Financial (FNF) company.
Black Knight’s index says that home prices were up 1.2% in the month of March and up 4.8% on a year-over-year basis. Those totals represent the largest monthly gain in national home prices since June 2013.
“As we move deeper into the traditional home buying season, the low level of homes for sale in many markets is continuing to push prices higher,” said Quicken Loans Vice President Bill Banfield. “Once more owners realize the opportunity to sell their home, price gains will slow and prices may even dip in response to the greater choice for buyers.”
Year-on-year readings in both the S&P and FHFA reports show an improving trend, at a moderate 5% for Case-Shiller and plus 5.2% for FHFA.
“Home prices have enjoyed year-over-year gains for 35 consecutive months,” says David Blitzer, Managing Director & Chairman of the Index Committee for S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The pattern of consistent gains is national and seen across all 20 cities covered by the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. The longest run of gains is in Detroit at 45 months, the shortest is New York with 27 months. However, the pace has moderated in the last year; from August 2013 to February 2014, the national index gained more than 10% year-over-year, compared to 4.1% in this release.