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House-price growth accelerates in Cleveland, with key index nearing pre-recession peak

August 28, 2018

House-price growth accelerates in Cleveland, with key index nearing pre-recession peak

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- After 12 years underwater, house prices in the Cleveland metro area finally are nearing their pre-recession peak, according to nationally watched real estate indices updated Tuesday.

But that doesn’t mean homeowners universally have regained the value they lost during the housing bust in Northeast Ohio. The local recovery has been slow and uneven, with sale prices in some suburbs and city neighborhoods skyrocketing past their mid-2006 peaks while prices in other communities remain strikingly depressed.

As a whole, an index tied to sale prices of single-family homes in the Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor area was down only 1.3 percent from its pre-crisis high in June, based on a fresh update to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices.

Nationwide prices surpassed their pre-recession peak in early 2017 and are up 10.8 percent, according to Case-Shiller’s data. Among the 20 major metropolitan areas highlighted in the report, Cleveland still is lagging, with the most modest rebound of any market.

Cities on the West Coast continue to lead the pack.

Compared with a year before, Cleveland-area prices were up 5.1 percent in June. That compared with a 6.2 percent annual gain nationwide. Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C., posted slimmer growth than Cleveland, while prices in all of the other cities rose more rapidly.

The Case-Shiller report reinforces the narrative of a housing market that favors sellers, while buyers compete for scarce listings and struggle to find homes that fit their budgets. But there are signs that growth might be slowing.

“Sales of both new and existing homes are roughly flat over the last six months amidst news stories of an increase in the number of homes for sale in some markets,” David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in a news release. “Rising mortgage rates ... and the rise in home prices are affecting housing affordability.”

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