Home prices in the U.S. saw a 5% spike in July, according to the latest Standar & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index. Home prices rose in all 20 cities measured in the report, with San Francisco seeing the biggest increase at 10.4%.
Continuing to push home prices higher is a lack of available homes. As the overall economy continues to improve, more people are becoming financially stable and looking to buy homes. However, housing market analysts note they are finding a dearth of available homes and that is forcing prices higher. In July, there was a 5.2 month supply of available homes in the U.S.. While that’s an improvement from recent months, it’s still well below the six-month supply that’s normally indicative of a balanced market.
Home prices in the West outpaced those of the Midwest and East. After San Francisco, Denver saw 10.3 percent gain and home prices in Dallas jumped 8.7 percent from a year earlier. Many experts are now starting to talk of an “East-West divide” when it comes to the housing market.
In Los Angeles, home prices in July were up 6.1 percent from a year earlier.
From David Blitzer, managing director of the Index Committee:
“Prices of existing homes and housing overall are seeing strong growth and contributing to recent solid growth for the economy,” said Blitzer, who also noted the National Home Price Index has risen more than inflation since September 2012.
“Most of the strength is focused on states west of the Mississippi. The three cities with the largest cumulative price increases in January 2000 are all in California: Los Angeles (138%), San Francisco (116%) and San Diego (115%).
“The two smallest gains since January 2000 are Detroit (3%) and Cleveland (10%). The Sunbelt cities—Miami, Tampa, Phoenix and Las Vegas—which were the poster children of the housing boom have to make new all-time highs.”
So things are looking up out here. Let’s just hope available supply also begins to loosen.