U.S. home prices rose more than
was anticipated for the month of February, according to new data from the
S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index. This happened as homebuyer
demand continues to outweigh supply in the housing market.
The national home price index
jumped 5.8 percent in February, while analysts were expecting home prices to
climb by 5.7 percent for the month, according to Thomson Reuters consensus
estimates. This represents the most gains in 32 months.
David Blitzer, managing director
and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said the low
stock of existing homes for sale — currently about 3.8 months worth of supply
at current sales rates — is bolstering the price increases across the board.
"Housing affordability has
declined since 2012 as the pressure of higher prices has been a larger factor
than stable to lower mortgage rates," Blitzer added.
The cities with the biggest
annual price gains in February were Seattle, Portland, Oregon and Dallas,
according to the groups' index.
U.S. home price gains last reached
a 31-month high in January. Of the nation's 20 largest cities reporting
that month, three reached their all-time highs in January: Seattle, Portland
and Denver, the industry survey found.
The S&P CoreLogic
Case-Shiller Indices is a monthly report published on the last Tuesday of each
month and tracks the price path of typical single-family homes located in each
metropolitan area provided.