US Home Prices Rose 10.1 Percent in December, Fastest Since 2014

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A motion   "For Sale" is displayed successful  beforehand   of a House successful  Washington connected  April 24, 2020. (Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images)

A motion "For Sale" is displayed successful beforehand of a House successful Washington connected April 24, 2020. (Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON—U.S. home prices surged astatine the fastest gait successful astir 7 years successful December, fueled by debased owe rates and Americans moving to houses successful the suburbs from crowded municipality areas.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city location terms index, released connected Feb. 23, climbed 10.1 percent successful December from a twelvemonth earlier. The year-end leap was the biggest since April 2014 and follows a beardown 9.2 percent year-over-year summation successful November.

Home prices climbed 14.4 percent successful Phoenix and 13.6 percent successful Seattle successful December. But prices roseate each over. Chicago, which recorded the slowest terms gain, saw a 7.7 percent uptick. Detroit was not included successful the year-over-year figures due to the fact that of record-keeping delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“These information are accordant with the presumption that COVID has encouraged imaginable buyers to determination from municipality apartments to suburban homes,” said Craig Lazzara, planetary caput of scale concern strategy astatine S&P Dow Jones Indices. But helium said it was unclear whether the inclination would last.

Prices person besides been pushed up by the constricted proviso of homes connected the market.

“With owe rates remaining comparatively debased and the question of anxious buyers continuing to swell, it’s improbable that this contention for housing, and consequent beardown terms appreciation, volition meaningfully abate successful the adjacent future,” said Matthew Speakman, economist astatine the existent property steadfast Zillow.

Homebound consumers are besides sprucing up their surviving quarters. Commenting connected a year-end surge of gross and net astatine Home Depot, Neil Saunders of GlobalData calculated that Americans each spent the equivalent of $402 past twelvemonth astatine the home-improvement giant.

The housing market has been resilient passim the coronavirus pandemic, helped by rock-bottom rates connected location loans. The mean complaint connected the benchmark 30-year, fixed-rate owe ticked up to 2.81 percent past week from 2.73 percent but remains good beneath wherever it was a twelvemonth earlier: 3.49 percent.

But the Commerce Department reported Feb. 18 that U.S. location operation fell 6 percent successful January, dragged down by a 12.2 percent driblet successful operation of single-family homes; flat operation climbed 16.2 percent. Still, applications for gathering permits, which typically awesome wherever location gathering is headed, roseate sharply successful January.

By Paul Wiseman

The Associated Press

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