(Newsroom America) -- S&P Dow Jones Indices today released the latest results for the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices for August 2017 which shows that home prices continued their rise across the country over the past 12 months.
The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, reported a 6.1% annual gain in August, up from 5.9% in the previous month. The 10-City Composite annual increase came in at 5.3%, up from 5.2% the previous month. The 20-City Composite posted a 5.9% year-over-year gain, up from 5.8% the previous month.
Seattle, Las Vegas, and San Diego reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities. In August, Seattle led the way with a 13.2% year-over-year price increase, followed by Las Vegas with an 8.6% increase, and San Diego with a 7.8% increase. Nine cities reported greater price increases in the year ending August 2017 versus the year ending July 2017.
The below charts compare year-over-year returns for Seattle and Las Vegas with different ranges of housing prices (tiers).
Before seasonal adjustment, the National Index posted a month-over-month gain of 0.5% in August. The 10-City and 20-City Composites reported increases of 0.5% and 0.4% respectively. After seasonal adjustment, the National Index recorded a 0.5% month-over-month increase in August. The 10-City Composite and 20-City Composite both posted 0.5% month-over-month increases. Nineteen of 20 cities reported increases in August both before and after seasonal adjustment.
"Home price increases appear to be unstoppable," says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "August saw the National Index annual rate tick up to 6.1%; all 20 cities followed in the report were up year-over-year while one, Atlanta, saw the seasonally adjusted monthly number slip 0.2%.
"Most prices across the rest of the economy are barely moving compared to housing. Over the last year the consumer price index rose 2.2%, driven largely by energy costs. Aside from oil, the only other major item with price gains close to housing was hospital services, which were up 4.6%. Wages climbed 3.6% in the year to August.
"The ongoing rise in home prices poses questions of why prices are climbing and whether they will continue to outpace most of the economy. Currently, low mortgage rates combined with an improving economy are supporting home prices. Low interest rates raise the value of both real and financial long-lived assets.
"The price gains are not simply a rebound from the financial crisis; nationally and in nine of the 20 cities in the report, home prices have reached new all-time highs. However, home prices will not rise forever. Measures of affordability are beginning to slide, indicating that the pool of buyers is shrinking. The Federal Reserve is pushing short term interest rates upward and mortgage rates are likely to follow over time, removing a key factor supporting rising home prices."