U.S. home price gains slowed for the 13th straight month in April, but Las Vegas home prices still grew fastest among other large cities.
Southern Nevada prices were up 7.1 percent year-over-year in April, compared to a 3.5 percent gain nationally, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index released Tuesday by S&P Dow Jones Indices.
Las Vegas’ prices grew at the fastest pace among the 20 markets in the report for the 11th consecutive month. Phoenix saw the second-fastest growth rate at 6 percent, followed by Tampa at 5.6 percent.
Even though Las Vegas price growth is leading the pack, cceleration has slowed. In August 2018, for instance, Southern Nevada home prices were up 13.9 percent from a year earlier, S&P Dow Jones previously reported.
Las Vegas’ housing market has seen other signs of a cool-down lately. Sales totals have tumbled from year-ago levels, and the once-depleted tally of available listings has shot back up, all of which followed a stretch of fast-rising prices and rising mortgage rates that, collectively, sparked affordability concerns.
Price increases have also cooled in several formerly hot markets, including Seattle, where prices were unchanged from a year ago. Home prices rose just 1.8 percent in San Francisco and 0.8 percent in San Diego.
The national slowdown is evidence that weaker demand is keeping prices in check even as mortgage rates fall.
Sales of existing homes fell last year as mortgage rates climbed to 5 percent, but sales appear to have levelled off this spring. Borrowing costs have fallen back below 4 percent, which has enabled more would-be buyers to afford homes. Prices are now increasing more slowly than wages, which also helps affordability.
Most economists see the current pace of price increases as more consistent with longer-run trends. Historically, home values have risen about 1 percent a year, after inflation.
Many home buyers are still struggling with higher housing costs, which increased more quickly than wages for seven years and jumped by double-digits in 2013.
Sales of existing homes increased in May, after falling in April, a sign that lower mortgage rates may be starting to lift demand. The average rate on a 30-year mortgage was 3.8 percent last week, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac.
Still, sales of existing homes remained 1.1 percent lower than a year earlier.