Home Prices Rise Even Faster, Posting 19.8% Gain in February

Home prices showed no sign of a letup in February, rising 19.8%, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index released on Tuesday.

The reading follows a 19.1% increase in January and continues a red-hot pace for housing that has been a hallmark of the past two years, a combination of low inventory of available properties for sale and strong demand exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. Buyers continue to outnumber sellers.

“Today’s S&P Case Shiller Index highlights a housing market experiencing a renewed sense of urgency in February, as buyers worked through a small number of homes for sale in an effort to get ahead of surging mortgage rates,” George Ratiu, manager of economic research at Realtor.com, said. “The imbalance between strong demand and insufficient supply pushed prices higher.”

“For buyers, the jumps in prices and mortgage rates translated into sticker shock,” he said. “For a median-priced home financed with a 30-year loan, the monthly payment is $550 higher than a year ago, a 46% jump which dwarfs the 15% increase in housing prices and 8.5% advance in consumer prices.”

Phoenix, Tampa and Miami led the gains, with increases of 32.9%, 32.6% and 29.7%, respectively.