The numbers: The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.3% in November compared to October and was 4.7% higher compared to a year ago. That was the slowest pace of annual growth since January 2015.
What happened: Home price growth just kept slowing as housing headwinds gathered late last year. The headline number for the Case-Shiller report covering the three months ending in November missed the Econoday consensus forecast of a 4.9% yearly increase.
Big picture: In normal times, a near-5% yearly increase for home prices would be just about right. But these are hardly normal times for the American housing market. Scant supply and oversized demand have pushed prices too high, and even with the recent cooling, it’s not clear whether there’s inventory, or financing, that will help make housing available to everyone who needs it.
In November, the metro areas with the biggest year-on-year gains were Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Seattle. But many of the biggest losers on a monthly basis were the cities where prices had surged: Denver, San Francisco, and, yes, Seattle.
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Market reaction: The 10-year Treasury note
, which sets the tone for fixed-rate mortgages, has benefited from a recent round of stock market turbulence.
What they’re saying: “Home prices are still rising, but more slowly than in recent months,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The pace of price increases are being dampened by declining sales of existing homes and weaker affordability. Sales peaked in November 2017 and drifted down through 2018. Affordability reflects higher prices and increased mortgage rates through much of last year.”