U.S. Home Prices Tick Up 0.1% in November

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US home prices tick up 0.1 percent in November
David Ryder/Bloomberg via Getty Images
By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER

WASHINGTON -- U.S. home prices barely rose in November from the previous month and year-over-year gains slowed, reflecting declines in sales in the fall.

Real estate data provider CoreLogic said Tuesday that prices increased just 0.1 percent in November from October. That's down slightly from October and far below August's 0.9 percent gain.

The figures aren't adjusted for seasonal patterns, such as cold winter weather that typically slows sales. Home prices have risen a healthy 11.8 percent from a year ago, CoreLogic said. But that's the smallest yearly gain since March.

Rising home prices and higher mortgage rates held back sales at the end of last year. Existing home sales fell from September through November.

But overall, 2013 represented the best year for housing since the financial crisis. Once December's figures are released, home prices will likely have risen 11.5 percent last year, according to Mark Fleming, CoreLogic's chief economist. That would be the biggest gain since 2005.

And sales of existing homes should reach 5.1 million in 2013, the National Association of Realtors forecasts. That would be up 10 percent from the previous year and the most since 2006.
It's still below the 5.5 million generally associated with healthy housing markets.

Most economists expect sales and prices to keep rising this year, but at a slower pace. They forecast sales and prices will likely rise around 5 percent, down from double-digit gains in 2013.

A measure of signed contracts suggests sales are already starting to level off. The Realtors' group said last week that its index of pending home sales ticked up slightly in November after falling for five straight months.

Economists blame higher mortgage rates for dragging down sales. The average rate on a 30-year mortgage rose last week to 4.53 percent from 4.48 percent the previous week, the third straight gain.

Rates jumped about 1.25 percentage points from May through September, peaking at 4.6 percent. That increase occurred after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated that the Fed would start to slow its bond-buying program before the end of the year. The purchases are intended to lower long-term interest rates and spur more borrowing and spending.

At its December meeting, the Fed said it would cut its $85 billion monthly purchases in January by $10 billion a month. Interest rates have risen since then, reflecting greater optimism about the economy and the impact of the Fed's move.

U.S. home prices barely rose in November from the previous month and year-over-year gains slowed, reflecting declines in sales in the fall.


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Gumby

Highway widening projects boost real estate values around them. Businesses are attracted to first class 4 lane highway routes not two lane each way. but four or five lanes each way! many local towns are underdeveloped while highways going through them are being widened. When completed, skyscrapers popped up ! High income people moved in.

January 07 2014 at 11:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jdykbpl45

Obama economics!

January 07 2014 at 11:39 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jdykbpl45's comment
Big John

Pleaseeee! Tell me you are not blaming Obama for the housing bubble bursting in 2008. You need to really do some reading and learn who and what caused the housing bubble and when it went bust. Also Warren Buffet said in 2008 it would take at least eight years to get out of the mess left by your hero.

January 07 2014 at 7:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cvanac8550

living in the "great "state of New Jersey ,I can't buy a house because the property taxes push me over my budget....7k-8k average

January 07 2014 at 11:03 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply