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Home prices are still climbing, just not as fast as they have been

Justin Ho Dec 28, 2021
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Though the housing market is still competitive, price gains are beginning to slow. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Home prices are still climbing, just not as fast as they have been

Justin Ho Dec 28, 2021
Heard on:
Though the housing market is still competitive, price gains are beginning to slow. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images
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​The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index released Tuesday was up just over 19% for October compared to the same time a year ago. It’s more evidence of just how overheated the housing market is in most of the country.

The bad news is that housing prices are still skyrocketing. ​But there may be a glimmer of good news in Tuesday’s data: The pace of that growth has been slowing down a little bit over the past few months. ​​

The Case-Shiller report found that price gains in October were smaller than in September, and September’s price gains were smaller than in August.

“I feel like the frenzy from buyers is pausing a little bit,” said Matthew Hilton, a real estate agent in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.

To be clear, he said the market in his area is still very competitive, but he thinks people are less willing to get into bidding wars.

“Just because I think there’s so many buyers out there that have been looking for so long now, they’re a little frustrated with, you know, having to waive all their contingencies and go well over list price,” Hilton said.

Any sign of a slowdown is welcome news, according to Mark Fleming, a chief economist at First American Financial Corp.

“That’s a good sign for the housing market. That’s healthy, to have less appreciation at the moment,” Fleming said.

Homebuying typically slows down at this time of year, said real estate agent Salinda Riebow, who’s also based near Tampa.

When things pick up again next year? “I think we’re going to start seeing a little bit of a cool down,” she said.

Especially if mortgage rates go up, the question, she said, is whether housing inventory will grow to meet demand. There’s hope there, too — at least in her area.

“The last couple of years, anywhere there’s any little pocket of land, new homebuilders have started buying those up,” Riebow said.

That said, new construction only accounts for 10% of home sales in the U.S., meaning that more existing homes will have to come onto the market to have a real impact on prices.

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