US home prices rise 5.9 percent to 31-month high in Jan: S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller

Real estate agent Tracey Becker readies the house at 658 Oxford Avenue in Venice for an open house.

Anne Cusack | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images
Real estate agent Tracey Becker readies the house at 658 Oxford Avenue in Venice for an open house.

US home price gains reached a 31-month high in January, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index.

The index, which measures all nine U.S. census divisions, found that home prices rose 5.9 percent year-over-year in the month, up from December’s 5.7 percent annual gain.

Of the nation’s 20 largest cities, three reached their all-time highs in January: Seattle, Portland, and Denver. And 12 cities reported greater price increases in the year ending January 2017 versus the year ending December 2016, the report said.

The S&P/Case Shiller 20-city composite index, which tracks the nation’s largest cities, gained 5.7 percent year-over-year in January, up from 5.5 percent the previous month.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices is a monthly report published on the last Tuesday of each month, constructed to accurately track the price path of typical single-family homes located in each metropolitan area provided.

“Housing and home prices continue on a generally positive upward trend,” said David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

The actions by the Federal Reserve raising the target for the Fed funds rate by a quarter of a percentage point is expected to add less than a quarter percentage point to mortgage rates in the near future, Blitzer said.

“Given the market’s current strength and the economy, the small increase in interest rates isn’t expected to dampen home buying. If we see three or four additional increases this year, rising mortgage rates could become concern,” he said.

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