Staff and wire report
U.S. home prices rose 12.1 percent in June from a year earlier, nearly matching a seven-year high.
But monthly price gains slowed in most markets, a sign that higher mortgage rates may be weighing on the housing recovery.
The Standard & Poor’s / Case-Shiller 20-city home price index slowed only marginally from May’s year-over-year gain of 12.2 percent, the fastest since March 2006. And all 20 metro areas posted gains from the previous month and compared with a year ago.
Cleveland area home prices grew 1.9 percent from the previous month, and 3.5 percent from May 2012.
Six metro areas – Charlotte, Cleveland, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, New York and Tampa – showed acceleration. Atlanta took the lead with a return of 3.4 percent as San Francisco dropped to a 2.7 percent gain in June from 4.3 percent in May. New York posted a gain of 2.1 percent, its highest since July 2002.
“Overall, the report shows that housing prices are rising but the pace may be slowing,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Thirteen out of 20 cities saw their returns weaken from May to June. As we are in the middle of a seasonal buying period, we should expect to see the most gains. With interest rates rising to almost 4.6 percent, home buyers may be discouraged and sharp increases may be dampened.”