Home-price appreciation accelerates again in U.S. cities

U.S. home-price appreciation accelerated in January.

A measure of prices in 20 U.S. cities jumped 19.1%, up from 18.6% the previous month, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index showed Tuesday.

Phoenix, Tampa and Miami reported the biggest year-over-year gains. Nationally, prices jumped 19.2%, the fourth-biggest jump in data going back 35 years, according to Craig Lazzara, global head of index investment strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

“Home price changes in January continued the strength we had observed for much of the prior year,” he said in a statement.

Housing price increases peaked in July and have cooled off slightly in recent months. Still, demand for homes remains strong two years after the pandemic hit the U.S., with bidding wars and cash offers common in hot markets.

A lack of properties to buy has combined with rising mortgage rates to keep some potential buyers on the sidelines, particularly renters trying to crack into the market. Pending home sales dropped unexpectedly in February, posting a fourth straight monthly decline as the inventory shortage restricts sales.

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