Home prices in 20 cities rise but at a slower pace

Declining affordability, increased inventories and difficulty in finding financing are contributing to lower gains in housing prices.
By Ananth Baliga  |  June 24, 2014 at 10:43 AM
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NEW YORK, June 24 (UPI) -- U.S. home prices increased slower than expected in April and yearly price growth dropped to its lowest level in the last year, according to data released Tuesday.

Home prices in the U.S. increased by 10.8 percent, as spring selling season got underway in the housing market, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller's price index. The index, which tracks housing prices in 20 major cities, suggests price grew slower than the 12.4 percent it had averaged in the last twelve months and the recent high of 13.7 percent in November.

"It's a movement toward a more normal market," Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West in San Francisco, said before the report. "We're seeing a normalization of the market going forward."

As buying power remains low and wage growth remains stagnant, sellers are limited in the prices they can ask for homes as buyers find it difficult to qualify for financing. Housing inventory was limited in the past year resulting in higher prices, but a tough winter and rising inventories dampened prices.

According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which tracks mortgage deals form Fannie May and Freddie Mac, home prices did not change in April, while growth over the last twelve months was 5.9 percent.

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