CHICAGO, Illinois: Driven by an ongoing shortage of properties available on the market, in March US single-family home prices rose steadily, but the overall trend still indicate a slowdown.
After adjusting for seasonal fluctuations, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index, which covers all nine US census divisions, rose 0.4 percent in March, after increasing 0.3 percent in February.
In a statement, Craig Lazzara, managing director at S&P DJI, said, "Two months of increasing prices do not a definitive recovery make, but March's results suggest that the decline in home prices that began in June 2022 may have come to an end."
"That said, the challenges posed by current mortgage rates and the continuing possibility of economic weakness are likely to remain a headwind for housing prices for at least the next several months," he added.
According to data from mortgage finance agency Freddie Mac, the housing market has been significantly affected by the Federal Reserve's most rapid monetary policy tightening campaign since the 1980s, with the average rate of a 30-year fixed mortgage staying at the 6.09 to 6.73 percent range this year, after peaking at 7.03 percent in late 2022.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors also reported that the inventory of existing homes remains 44 percent below pre-pandemic levels, which is pushing up prices as buyers are taking advantage of slightly lower mortgage rates to return to the market.
After rising 2.1 percent in February, national house prices rose by a seasonally unadjusted 0.7 percent on a year-on-year basis in March.
A report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency released this week also showed that monthly house prices rose 0.6 percent in March, after increasing 0.7 percent in February. Prices also increased 3.6 percent in the 12 months through March, after a 4.2 percent rise in February.