Home Prices Rise Slows in December

By Mark Lieberman

Managing Director and Senior Economist


  • Case Shiller CoreLogic indices ROSE in December, but at a slower pace than November
  • The 10-city index IMPROVED 0.05 percent, compared with an increase of 0.11 percent in November;
  • The 20-city index was UP 0.04 percent compared with 0.11 percent in November;
  • National Index ROSE 0.08 percent, compared with 0.10 percent in November;
  • Year-year the National index ROSE 6.5 percent, the 20-city index was UP 2.9 percent, the 10-city index ROSE 2.4 percent;
  • The price index rose in 13 of the 20 cities surveyed in December compared with 16 cities in November
  • Year-year the price growth slowed in six cities in December compared with four in November.


  • The three indices have improved for 11 straight months;
  • The price index ROSE for the 24th straight month in Miami while falling for the fifth straight month in Detroit.

Data Source: S&P Case Shiller/Core Logic

Image result for home prices

Home price growth slowed in December as mortgage rates continued to inch up contributing to a slowdown in the number of homes for sale.

Even as the pace of existing-home sales themselves rose 3.4 percent in December, according to the National Association of Realtors, the combination of rising interest rates and higher home prices points to a tough market for realtors and empty nesters trying to sell. Indeed, the NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index fell 4.9 percent in December suggesting fewer completed sales (closings) in February.  

The headline from the NAR’s home sales report though was the dramatic 15.2 percent) drop in homes for sale. The number of homes on the market relates strongly to the value of homes. Per the Case-Shiller CoreLogic Index, home prices in the Case-Shiller 10-city index rose just 2.4 percent in 2019 compared with a 3.6 percent increase in 2018 and 6.0 percent increase in 2017.

Prices in the 20-city index rose 2.9 percent in 2019, were up 4.0 percent in 2018, and soared 6.9 percent in 2017.

The price boosts don’t seem to have made their way to sellers though as the National Association of Realtors reported the inventory of home for sale fell to an all-time low in December, a slippage likely to affect future home sales.

Meanwhile, according to the December Case Shiller CoreLogic report, home prices rose just 0.1 percent in the Northeastern and Western cities surveyed, were flat in Southern cities and fell 0.4 percent in Midwestern cities.

Prices rose fastest in December in Phoenix where they went up 6 percent. Prices fell fastest in Cleveland and Minneapolis (down 0.6 percent each).

Year-year prices rose fastest in Phoenix, up 6.5 percent, Charlotte (5.3 percent and Tampa (5.2 percent)

The slower price growth combined with near-record low mortgage interest rates failed to significantly boost sales of existing single-family homes, exacerbating a weak housing market.

Hear Mark Lieberman this Friday on P.O.T.U.S. radio’s Morning Briefing, Sirius-XM 124, at 6:20 am Eastern Time. You can follow Mark Lieberman on Twitter at @foxeconomics.

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