Southeast continues to buck national price-growth trends
The Case-Shiller data for March showed continuing annual declines in home prices, with stark regional differences.
- Nationally, the index found that year-over-year gains slowed to 2%, although there was a small monthly increase between January and February.
- Several of the cities analyzed, including Miami and Tampa, are showing robust increases in home appreciation, while others like San Francisco and Seattle are seeing big declines.
- Eight of the 20 cities surveyed are now showing year-over-year price declines.
Home appreciation continued to cool nationally heading into the spring months, but different stories are emerging in the East and West.
The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. Home Price index reported a 2% annual gain in February, down from 3.7% in the previous month. The 20-City Composite posted a 0.4% year-over-year gain, down from 2.6% in the previous month.
The index did show a modest month-to-month rise of 0.2% between January and February, which is the first monthly increase since June.
A separate report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which analyzes purchase-only data from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, reported a 4% annual increase.
Perhaps more interesting are the stark differences among major cities across the country, said Craig Lazzara, managing director at S&P DJI. Miami, for example, posted a 10.8% annual increase in home appreciation in February, while San Francisco was down 10% for the same period.
While annual appreciation is still up nationally, eight of the cities in Case-Shiller's 20-City Composite posted year-over-year price declines. However, five of those eight cities posted monthly gains from January and February, with San Francisco jumping 1% in that period.
Several cities in the eastern U.S. saw significant price appreciation in February, including Tampa (up 7.7%), Atlanta (up 6.6%) and Charlotte (up 6%). On the other end of the spectrum — and the other side of the country — were Seattle (down 9.3%), San Diego (down 4.1%) and Portland (down 3.2%).
The FHFA report found similar regional trends, with the Pacific region down 2.7% year over year and the East South Central region up 8.3%.
Regional differences in home appreciation have accelerated, making it more important for homebuyers to tap into accurate local data, said Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com.
"Real estate has always been local, but as the buyers and sellers adjust to higher mortgage rates and lower affordability, regional trends have diverged sharply," Hale said.