US home prices surge 6.2 percent, outpacing wage growth

In this Tuesday, May 16, 2017, file photo, a construction worker continues work on new town homes under construction in Woodstock, Ga. The Standard & Poor's CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index, which tracks the value of homes in 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas, is due out Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017. | AP Photo by John Bazemore, File, St. George News

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices climbed a robust 6.2 percent from a year ago, amid strong demand from would-be buyers and a shrinking supply of properties for sale.

Standard & Poor’s said Tuesday that its S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index stood in October a solid 6 percent above its previous 2006 peak. Prices are rising at more than double the pace of wage growth, creating some affordability pressures that have been offset by relatively low mortgage rates. Metro areas with booming job markets and the steepest home price gains could see more residents staying as renters.

“Since home prices are rising faster than wages, salaries, and inflation, some areas could see potential home buyers compelled to look at renting,” said David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

The strongest annual gains occurred in Seattle, where prices have shot up 12.7 percent since October 2015. Las Vegas has seen prices increase 10.2 percent, while San Diego notched growth of 8.1 percent. Of the 20 metro areas tracked by the index, Washington, DC reported the smallest price gain with 3.1 percent.

As the economy has steadily recovered from the 2008 financial crisis, demand from would-be buyers has steadily improved. The 17-year low unemployment rate of 4.1 percent has left more Americans confident enough to put bids on homes. Sales of existing homes in November reached their strongest pace since December 2006, according to the National Association of Realtors. But the sales growth hasn’t compelled more people to list their homes for sale, as the number of properties on the market has tumbled nearly 10 percent in the past 12 months.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said last week that the rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.94 percent, down from 4.30 percent a year ago.

Written by JOSH BOAK, Associated Press


Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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  • cv_t-bird December 26, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    From my experience, it seems to be a almost double that here in St. George. It can’t be said enough, that is not sustainable! Part of that is due to those from California moving here from a much more inflated market who have cash, and those retirees cashing out their pensions or using their reverse mortgages to afford these homes. Those who actually live here are being pushed out of the market & area by the unwelcome newcomers and it’s causing a real strain on the community. There are very few well paying jobs down here, and many in the younger generation are being forced to move elsewhere. While that doesn’t appear to be a big deal, it will soon have a major effect on the services this community relies on. We’ve been trying to buy a home for the last few months with a significant budget and have had no success. Homes that were sold for $290k in 2015 are on the market for $375k right now that have had nothing done to them since they were last sold, how is that not greed?

  • jh9000 December 26, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Sure hope that trickle-down happens soon.

  • youcandoit December 26, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    This is ridiculous don’t they understand that the closer you live near the ocean the more expensive it is. It’s not fair to us folks who live here. Just because California is overpriced they should not take advantage of compare because truth be told if prices were cheaper in California they would not move here. Are they trying to make us homeless? They better start paying California wages then or leave the dam prices alone.

  • jaybird December 26, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    Building houses people cant afford here, begging Californians to move here are 2 and the same. It keeps the sheep in line telling them hard work determines the outcome. Yeah.

  • comments December 26, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    if you whiners don’t like it you can always move to the midwest or the deep south. we gettin’ resortized around here or what i like to call “aspenized”. Plus all these future nursing home dwellers got loads of $$$. Y’all just jeally

    • cv_t-bird December 29, 2017 at 10:53 am

      Being jealous has nothing to do with it, people are just tired of out-of-towners coming in and making their hometown unaffordable. At least in California, there are an abundance of jobs, year-round good weather and decent wages to make up for the cost of living. We have none of that here, just a bunch of service style businesses (restaurants, hotels, shopping centers, etc) that pay a relatively low wage and are meant for entry-level type positions, as well as brutally hot summers. It is extremely difficult for anybody in the younger generations to make a living down here and be able to put down roots. There is already a labor shortage in the area because people cannot afford to live and work here, until something happens it will only get worse. You might not think this affects you, but it will soon enough & then you’ll be the one complaining.

  • youcandoit December 27, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    You are a jerk I guess you like paying for the people who already work 3 jobs barley making it. It’s common sense if you are charging California prices then pay the wages too. Duh

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