House-price gains slow nationally but accelerate in Cleveland, Case-Shiller shows

September 25, 2018

House-price gains slow nationally but accelerate in Cleveland, Case-Shiller shows

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cleveland-area house prices rose at a faster pace in July, even as price growth cooled in other major cities and across the nation.

And, after 12 years of painful decline and slow recovery, an index tied to prices of single-family homes in the Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor area finally has returned to its pre-recession peak.

That doesn’t mean every house in Northeast Ohio has regained the value lost during the housing bust, of course. Local data show that median, or middle, sale prices in some suburbs and many Cleveland neighborhoods still remain depressed. But aggregate local prices reached a notable benchmark in July, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices, which were updated Tuesday.

The Cleveland-area index now is 0.06 percent above its pre-crisis high. Nationwide prices are 11.2 percent above their mid-2006 peak, but 40 percent of the 20 major metropolitan areas highlighted by Case-Shiller still haven’t recovered.

“The eight that remain underwater include the four cities [that] led the price boom: Las Vegas, Miami, Phoenix and Tampa,” David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in a news release. “All are enjoying rising prices, especially Las Vegas, which currently has the largest year-over-year increases of all 20 cities. The other cities where prices are still not over their earlier peaks are Washington, D.C.; Chicago; New York; and Atlanta.”

In July, Cleveland-area prices were up 5.7 percent from a year before. That annual growth rate sped up from June, bucking national softening.

“Rising home prices are beginning to catch up with housing,” Blitzer said of trends across the country. He noted declining national sales of previously owned homes; new construction that’s heavily tilted toward apartments, not for-sale properties; and waning affordability for buyers.

The Case-Shiller report is just one of many measurements of the housing market’s health. The indices are tied to repeat sales of single-family homes and carry a two-month delay, which is why September’s report focused on July numbers.

A local listing-service report released earlier this month showed that average house-sale prices in Northeast Ohio were up 6.4 percent in August, when compared with a year before. Statewide, the average sale price posted a 5.6 percent annual gain, according to the Ohio Association of Realtors. 

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