U.S. home prices climbed steadily in July even as sales have slowed, evidence that a limited supply of available houses is distorting the real estate market.
The Standard & Poor’s CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index, released Tuesday, rose 5.9 percent in July from a year earlier, slightly faster than June’s 5.8 percent annual pace.
Sales of both new and existing homes slipped over the summer, which typically might slow price gains. But demand remains strong and has created bidding wars among house hunters, pushing up prices at a much faster pace than incomes. The number of existing homes for sale fell 6.5 percent in the past year.
Seattle, Portland, Oregon, and Las Vegas saw the largest increases, with prices in Seattle soaring 13.5 percent in July from a year earlier.
Closer to home, the Tampa market saw a 7 percent increase in sales, while Miami saw a 5.1 percent increase.
Case-Shiller Home Prices Index
None of Southwest Florida is included in the Case-Shiller measure, but a similar pattern has been pervading the market.
Homebuyers closed on 1,317 homes in the Sarasota-Manatee market last month, a 6.9 percent jump, while the median price rose 3.8 percent, to $275,000 by the August measures of the trade group Florida Realtors. Manatee, topped Sarasota County in median sales price, $286,855 vs. $258,000, but the opposite occurred in hard figures of total home sales, 725 compared with 592, a 9.2 percent increase for Sarasota County and a 4.2 percent rise for Manatee.
Charlotte County home sales fell 0.9 percent in the August-to-August comparison.
Statewide, closed sales of existing family homes reached 25,235 with a median price of $240,000, a 6.7 percent jump. Condos and townhouse sales rose a modest 2.6 percent with 9,716 purchases on a median cost of $170,000, a 6.3 percent increase.
More in the market
Other cities in the Case-Shiller measure also were seeing strong gains during July.
Home prices rose 7.3 percent in Dallas and Detroit, and 7.2 percent in Denver. The slowest increases were in Washington, D.C. and Chicago, which both reported 3.3 percent gains.
With unemployment low and paychecks rising modestly, more people are in the market for a home. But construction of new single-family homes has been held back by a limited supply of land in hot markets and difficulty in finding construction workers.
That has intensified the competition in the housing market. Homes sold after an average of just 30 days on the market in August, according to the National Association of Realtors, down from 36 days a year ago.
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma began to pinch sales in August and should drag on the sales in the months ahead.
The Case-Shiller index covers roughly half of U.S. homes. The index measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. The July figures are the latest available.
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