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Home price gains slow in Charlotte

Home price gains hit the brakes in June, a new Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller price index report shows.

In Charlotte, annual price appreciation for the 12 months ending in June was 3.8 percent, compared with 4.7 percent in May.

The Queen City wasn’t alone: Every city on the index saw its annual appreciation decline from the previous month. The national index showed an annual gain of 6.2 percent while the 10-city and 20-city composites rose 8.1 percent during the 12 month period, marking a dramatic departure from the double-digit increases seen in the housing market in the second half of 2013.

“For the first time since February 2008, all cities showed lower annual rates than the previous month,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Other indicators – starts, existing home sales and builders’ sentiment – are positive. Taken together, these point to a more normal housing sector.”

Cleveland had the lowest annual appreciation at 0.8 percent while Las Vegas had the highest at 15.2 percent.

For the month, the Charlotte metro area posted a not-seasonally-adjusted gain of 0.4 percent, in comparison with the April to May gain of 1.4 percent. The national monthly price gain in June was a non-seasonally-adjusted 0.9 percent, while the April to May increase was 1.1 percent.

While all cities saw home prices increases in June, every city the indexes track showed slower year-over-year price increases than in the prior month.

“In San Francisco, the pace of price increases halved since late last summer,” noted Blitzer. “The Sun Belt cities – Las Vegas, Phoenix, Miami and Tampa – all remain a third or more below their peak prices set almost a decade ago.”

Blitzer predicts that the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates as soon as the first quarter of next year. While higher interest rates won’t send the housing market into a “tailspin,” Blitzer said, he does think it will have a dampening effect on prices.

Charlotte’s index in June was 127.95, almost the same as July 2006’s 127.96. The base value index of 100 was set in January 2000, meaning that the Charlotte market has seen appreciation of almost 28 percent since that benchmark. Charlotte reached its 135.88 index peak in August 2007.


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