U.S. home price gains cooled in February from the previous year for the third month in a row, as harsh winter weather and high buying costs have slowed sales.
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 12.9 percent in February compared with 12 months earlier. While healthy, that is down from a 13.2 percent gain in January.
Prices in 13 metropolitan areas — including the Cleveland area — declined in February. The index shows the Cleveland metropolitan area, which does not include Summit County, had the largest monthly decline of 1.6 percent, followed by Chicago and Minneapolis at 0.9 percent. Las Vegas posted a 0.1 decline, marking its first drop in prices in almost two years. Cleveland and Tampa, with a decline of 0.7 percent, showed their largest monthly declines since January 2012.
However, prices in the Cleveland area were up 3 percent in February from a year ago, February 2013. Still, that was the lowest year-over-year increase among the 20 metropolitan areas covered by the 20-city home price index.
As of February 2014, average home prices across the United States are back to their mid-2004 levels.
The Cleveland metropolitan statistical area is made up of Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain and Medina counties.
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index does not cover the Akron-Canton area.