Home Price Gains Slow in April Amid Tepid Sales

Home Prices
Lynne Sladky/AP

WASHINGTON -- U.S. home prices rose in April compared with a year earlier, but the increase was the smallest annual gain in 14 months. Price gains have slowed this year as sales have faltered.

Data-provider CoreLogic (CLGX) said Tuesday that prices rose 10.5 percent in April from 12 months earlier. That is a healthy gain, but it is down from March's 11.1 percent increase and February's 12.2 percent rise.

On a month-to-month basis, April prices rose 2.1 percent. But CoreLogic's monthly figures aren't adjusted for seasonal patterns, such as warmer spring weather.

Higher mortgage rates, tight credit and a limited supply of available homes have slowed the housing recovery. Sales of existing homes ticked up in April after falling to a 20-month low in March. They were still 6.8 percent lower than a year ago.

Prices rose in the 12 months ending in April in every state, CoreLogic said. The states with the biggest price gains were California, 15.6 percent; Nevada, 14.8 percent; Hawaii, 14.1 percent; Oregon, 11.8 percent; and Michigan, 11.3 percent.

Ninety-five of the 100 largest metro areas reported higher prices in April compared with a year earlier. The five that didn't record an increase were: Hartford, Connecticut; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Little Rock, Arkansas; Worcester, Massachusetts; and New Haven, Connecticut.

Nationwide, home prices are still 14.3 percent below the peak they reached in April 2006, when the housing bubble began to deflate. But in 23 states, prices are at or within 10 percent of their previous peaks, according to CoreLogic's figures.

Housing began to recover in 2012, but sales of existing homes stalled after mortgage rates jumped last spring. Most economists forecast that sales will barely rise this year from 2013's pace of 5.1 million. Sluggish sales, in turn, will slow annual price gains this year to roughly 5 percent or 6 percent, economists predict.

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Real estate has been a very investment since the great bush recession.

June 03 2014 at 1:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Many people are paying more in rent than they would if they were paying for a mortgage. The banks are paying nearly 0% for their loans, but middle America is picking up the tab. The government is screwing up the economy single handedly. They are too far up in their Ivory Towers.

June 03 2014 at 12:23 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

Ah the Real Estate industry, not a care in the world. " Every markets different"! Let's see coming home on the bicycle with food in the cloth bag yesterday. Be about 3 or 4 total Block lengths. 2 of those on the Main Street through town. 4 houses there for sale. Then across from my driveway, 3 there that have been that way for quite some time. Then of course at the end of my drive one that has been there for sale now for about 6 to 7 years. And down the street a friend, electrician and fire-fighter and his interest just pushed his payment up another 500 a month so that one sitting empty. I guess when they all are sitting empty the Real Estate will change that to 'Every market has no buyers'! And we got Toyota here sitting outside of town.

June 03 2014 at 9:52 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to savannahswithgod's comment

Every market is, indeed, different. My home has appreciated 10-15% since it was purchased 5 years ago. Our neighborhood is all owner-occupied middle class families. Few properties come on the market and those that do are usually sold before they hit the market as there is literally a waiting list of eager (and qualified) buyers.

June 03 2014 at 12:56 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

The service industry is failing an because it is becoming the bulk of jobs available to increasing numbers of Americans it is causing a void in first time home buyers. Usually people buy homes in hopes of starting a family but the incomes aren't there and neither is the need to add a family member.

June 03 2014 at 9:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply