Case-Shiller Index breaks all-time high as Home prices peak again in April, but appreciation decelerates

Inman News

Figures in April 2024 for both indices suggested a steady market going into summer. Both the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index and the FHFA HPI rose 6.3% on an annual basis

Home prices saw steady growth in April 2024 suggesting a steady summer housing market ahead, according to two reports from S&P CoreLogic and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) that dropped on Tuesday.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index rose 6.3 percent on an annual basis in April, hitting a new record high for the seventh time this year. Month over month, the national index rose by 1.2 percent. Meanwhile, the 20-City Composite and the 10-City Composite, which track prices in the largest cities in the country, rose by 1.36 percent and 1.38 percent on a monthly basis, respectively.

“For the second consecutive month, we’ve seen our National Index jump at least 1 percent over its previous all-time high,” said Brian D. Luke, head of commodities for Real & Digital Assets at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

“2024 is closely tracking the strong start observed last year, where March and April posted the largest rise seen prior to a slowdown in the summer and fall. Heading into summer, the market is at an all-time high, once again testing its resilience against the historically more active time of the year.” Chief Economist Danielle Hale said sales prices as well as high mortgage rates have cut into the number of home sales thus far in 2024.

“In 2024, an inflation-driven surge in mortgage rates from 6.6 percent to 7.2 percent, with ups and downs along the way, cut into home sales, dampening the uptick. In fact, existing home sales slipped from a seasonally adjusted annual rate of nearly 4.4 million in February to a pace of just over 4.1 million in April,” Hale said in a statement emailed to Inman.

“Despite the slower pace of sales activity, homesellers were somewhat more willing to engage with the market,” Hale continued. “Newly listed homes rose between 11.3 percent and 15.5 percent above prior year pace between February and April, helping contribute to the 14.8 percent to 30.4 percent growth in active inventory in the housing market in this period. Despite the improvement in options compared to a year ago, April home inventory remained nearly 36 percent lower than pre-pandemic levels.”

The Home Price Index, which was also released on Tuesday by the FHFA, showed that home prices rose 6.3 percent from April 2023 to April 2024 — a slight decline from the FHFA’s previous report’s growth — and were up 0.2 percent from March 2024.

By region, home prices fell the most on a monthly basis in the West South Central and Middle Atlantic divisions, where they were down by 0.2 percent. Home prices rose the most in the East South Central division, where they were up 1.4 percent month over month.

On an annual basis, all regions saw positive home price growth. Prices were up the most in the New England and Middle Atlantic regions where they grew by 8.5 percent year over year.

“U.S. house prices continued to rise in April,” Dr. Anju Vajja, deputy director for FHFA’s division of Research and Statistics, said in a statement. “However, the appreciation rate slowed in April amid a slight rise in both mortgage rates and housing inventory. The housing market in general began to show some signs of normalization.”

Last week, the National Association of Realtors reported that existing-home sales declined for a third consecutive month in May as higher mortgage rates and home prices hindered homebuyers’ purchasing power.