Case-Shiller, FHFA Post New Records for Home Price Growth

March 29, 2012
Last updated:
April 28, 2022
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Home price appreciation has been very healthy over the past year. While mortgage rates are going up slightly more quickly than expected, demand remains high, and home prices continue to grow at close to the same record pace seen throughout 2021-22.

S&P Case-Shiller’s National Home Price Index rose by 19.80 percent year-over-year in February and was the third-largest pace of home price growth since the National Home Price Index’s inception. The 20-City Home Price Index reported that Phoenix, Arizona held its first-place ranking with year-over-year home price growth of 32.90 percent. 

Tampa, Florida maintained its second-place standing with year-over-year home price growth of 32.60 percent. Miami, Florida reported year-over-year home price growth of 29.70 percent year-over-year. Home prices rose faster for all 20 cities in February than in January.

Rapid Home Price Growth Expected to Slow as Rising Mortgage Rates Take Hold

All 20 cities included in the 20-City Home Price Index posted double-digit price growth in February, but analysts cautioned that the two-month lag in reporting didn’t accurately reflect current market conditions.  

Recent data on home sales and mortgage applications indicated that demand for homes is slowing due to affordability challenges caused by rapidly rising home prices and mortgage rates. Economists expect the housing market to cool as would-be home buyers face mortgage qualification and affordability challenges.

Craig J. Lazzara, managing director of S&P Dow Jones Indices, said: “The macroeconomic environment is evolving rapidly and may not support extraordinary home-price growth for much longer.” Mr. Lazzara also said that rising mortgage rates have not yet impacted home-price data, but would likely do so soon.

Selma Hepp, a  chief deputy economist at CoreLogic, said: “With diminished buying power and mortgage rates pushing above five percent in recent weeks, home- price growth is likely to take a step back in coming months.” Economists generally expect home price growth to slow as sales volume declines.

FHFA Reports  Record Home Price Growth in February

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, reported that home prices rose by 19.40 percent year-over-year; home prices for single-family homes owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rose by 1.10 percent from January to February.  

FHFA reported higher home prices across all nine census divisions. Home prices grew fastest in the Mountain Division, where home prices rose by 24.30 percent year-over-year in February.

Will Doerner, Ph. D   and Supervisory Economist at FHFA’s Division of Research and Statistics, said: “House prices rose to a new historical record in February. Acceleration approached twice the monthly rate as seen a year ago. Housing prices continue to rise owing in part to supply constraints.” Rising materials costs, labor, and lot shortages continued to rein in new home construction.

Rising Home Prices and Mortgage Rates Impact Affordability

The covid pandemic influenced home buying trends in multiple ways. Closures of workspaces, loss of childcare options and local restrictions and regulations designed to prevent the spread of covid caused many people to seek alternatives to commuting to work. 

Working from home allowed homeowners to transition from daily commutes to work to buying bigger homes to accommodate changing family and work needs.

Covid influenced many home buyers to look for homes in less-congested metro areas; Metro areas in the mountain west have grown as buyers from congested coastal metro areas bought homes in less populated areas in states including Arizona, Colorado, and Idaho.

Rapidly rising home prices, buyer competition, and higher mortgage rates continue to challenge first-time and moderate-income home buyers, but demand for homes remains high. Analysts expect high demand and short supplies of available homes will continue to dominate housing markets in 2022.

Today’s Mortgage Rates Apr, 04, Mon, 2022

A Word About Case-Shiller Index Flaws

It should be noted, however, that the Case-Shiller Index has some shortcomings. For instance, the index is based on changes in home prices of single home through successive sales. This means that to calculate its home price index, the Case-Shiller searches for sales of the same home over a period of time and calculates the difference in contract price.

This methodology can distort the home price tracker downward during times of weak economy because there is no distinction made for homes sold in foreclosure or as a short sale.

Another distortion in the Case-Shiller Index is that the model neglects all home types that are not of type “single-family residence.” This means that multi-unit homes and condominiums are excluded from the Case-Shiller Index model.

In some markets, such as Chicago and New York City, condominiums account for a large percentage of overall sales.

Lastly, the Case-Shiller Index is published with a “lag,” which renders it useless to buyers and sellers of Bellevue in search of real-time, relevant data. The most recent Case-Shiller Index is published with a 60-day delay, so a report issued in August, for instance, only covers home sales through June.

Making sound real estate decisions is about having timely, relevant data at-hand when it’s needed. The Case-Shiller Index fails in that respect. It’s good for highlighting the U.S. housing market on the whole, as it existed in the past. For real-time market data, though, you’ll want to talk with an active real estate agent.

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Have Questions About Mortgages?

Do you have questions about mortgages that you want answered? Sammamish Mortgage can help. We are a local, family-owned company based in Bellevue, Washington. We have been serving the entire Pacific Northwest region, including Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and Idaho since 1992. We offer a wide variety of mortgage programs and products with flexible qualification criteria. Please contact us if you have mortgage-related questions.

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