Index Data Reflect Highest Annual Home-Price Gain in 15 Years

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February 2021 data from the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices showed a 12% year-over-year gain in the National Home Price NSA Index, up from 11.2% in the previous month.

The 10-City Composite annual increase came in at 11.7%, up from 10.9% in the previous month, while the 20-City Composite posted an 11.9% year-over-year gain, up from 11.1% in the previous month.

Phoenix, San Diego, and Seattle reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities in February. Phoenix led the way with a 17.4% year-over-year price increase, followed by San Diego (a 17.0% increase) and Seattle (a 15.4% increase).

Nineteen of the 20 cities reported higher price increases in the year ending February 2021 versus the year ending January 2021. 

Before seasonal adjustment, the U.S. National Index posted an 1.1% month-over-month increase, while the 10-City and 20-City Composites both posted increases of 1.1% and 1.2% respectively in February.

After seasonal adjustment, the U.S. National Index posted a month-over-month increase of 1.1%, and the 10-City and 20-City Composites both posted increases of 1.1% and 1.2% respectively as well. In February, all 20 cities reported increases before and after seasonal adjustments.

“The National Composite’s 12.0 percent gain is the highest recorded since February 2006, exactly 15 years ago, and lies comfortably in the top decile of historical performance,” says Craig J. Lazzara, managing director and global head of index investment strategy at S&P DJI. “Housing’s strength is reflected across all 20 cities; February’s price gains in every city are above that city’s median level, and rank in the top quartile of all reports in 18 cities.

“These data remain consistent with the hypothesis that COVID has encouraged potential buyers to move from urban apartments to suburban homes,” he adds. “This demand may represent buyers who accelerated purchases that would have happened anyway over the next several years. Alternatively, there may have been a secular change in preferences, leading to a permanent shift in the demand curve for housing.”

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