U.S. home prices rose 19.7% in July by the math of a widely watched index — once again posting the biggest jump in more than 30 years.
The record gains in the S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller index of property values nationwide followed an 18.7% jump in June and the 14th straight month of accelerating price growth.
The Case-Shiller index for the metropolitan area of Los Angeles and Orange counties was up 19.1% — the biggest gain since the index gained 22% in the fall of 2013.
The US housing market has come under fire due to the intense demand for suburban homes. The lack of affordable properties has pushed up prices and put some potential buyers on edge.
“The past several months have been exceptional not only in the level of price gains but in the continuation of gains across the country,” Craig Lazara, global head of index investment strategy at the S&P Dow Jones Index, said in a statement.
A measure of prices in 20 US cities rose 19.9% in July. Phoenix led with a rise of 32.4%. New York (17.8%), Boston (18.7%), Dallas (23.7%), Seattle (25.5%), and Denver (21.3%) were among the cities that reported year-over-year growth.
Rising prices are making it harder for young-buyers to buy a home, according to the National Association of Realtors, with the proportion of first-time homebuyers selling to 29% last month, the lowest since January 2019. Meanwhile, investors broke 15% of homes in August, up slightly from a year ago.
According to NAR, there were just 1.29 million homes for sale in August. This is about a third less than a year ago.
There are some signs that home demand is waning, and sales have ticked up over the past month. NAR says fewer buyers are skipping home inspections. Still, 87% of homes are being bought after less than a month in the market.
Jonathan Lancer of Bloomberg News, The Associated Press and Southern California News Group contributed to this report.