U.S. Prices Level Off, Some States Show Large Cooldown

Home Price Index Highlights: October 2019

By Molly Boesel Housing Affordability, Real Estate

  • National home prices increased 3.5% year over year in October.
  • Home price increases have been highest for lower-priced homes.
  • Idaho home price increases were the highest and far exceeded any of the other leading states in October.

National home prices increased 3.5% year over year in October 2019 and are forecast to increase 5.4% from October 2019 to October 2020, according to the latest CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI®) Report. The October 2019 HPI gain was down from the October 2018 gain of 5.2% and was up a bit from the September 2019 gain of 3.3%.  Home prices have been increasing year over year in a narrow range of 3.2% to 3.5% over the past six months, indicating that the rate of home price growth is leveling off.

Figure1_HPI Price Declines From Peak

The HPI has increased on a year-over-year basis every month for more than seven years (since February 2012) and has gained 62.5% since hitting bottom in March 2011. As of October 2019, the overall HPI was 9.4% higher than its pre-crisis peak in April 2006. Adjusted for inflation, U.S. home prices increased 2.5% year over year in October 2019 and were 11.4% below their peak.[1] Figure 1 shows the cumulative price movement since the inception of price declines for both the nominal HPI and the inflation-adjusted HPI, as well as the time in years since the first decrease in the indices.

CoreLogic analyzes four individual home-price tiers that are calculated relative to the median national home sale price[2]. The lowest price tier increased 5.5% year over year in October 2019, compared with 4.7% for the low- to middle-price tier, 4% for the middle- to moderate-price tier, and 3.1% for the high-price tier. Cumulative price gains since the 2011 trough were strongest for lower-priced homes, with the lowest price tier gaining 96.1%, the low- to middle-price tier gaining 76.7%, the middle- to moderate-price tier gaining 64.9% and the high-price tier gaining 48.4%. Figure 2 shows the change from a year ago and from the 2011 trough for each HPI price tier.

igure-3 States With the Highest and Lowest Year Over Year Change in HPI

Figure 3 shows the year-over-year HPI growth in October 2019 for the 5 highest- and lowest-appreciating states. Idaho led the states in appreciation as it has for just over a year, with annual appreciation of 10.9% this October, far above any of the other leading states. At the low end, Connecticut home prices were unchanged from October 2018. Prices in 41 states (including the District of Columbia) have risen above their nominal pre-crisis peaks. Connecticut home prices in October 2019 were the farthest below their all-time HPI high, still 16.5% below the July 2006 peak.  While annual price increases slowed in 38 states compared with a year earlier, the cooling was most pronounced in Nevada. Prices in Nevada increased by 3.2% year over year in October 2019, an 8.7 percentage point slowdown from the 11.9% annual increase in October 2018.

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[1] The Consumer Price Index (CPI) Less Shelter was used to create the inflation-adjusted HPI.

[2] The four price tiers are based on the median sale price and are as follows: homes priced at 75% or less of the median (low price), homes priced between 75% and 100% of the median (low-to-middle price), homes priced between 100% and 125% of the median (middle-to-moderate price) and homes priced greater than 125% of the median (high price).