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Instant Reaction: S&P/Case-Shiller Index

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to this morning’s S&P/Case-Shiller index national home-price index reading for December:

“Rising mortgage rates should not be boosting home prices, yet home values accelerated with a 5.8% annual gain in December (according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price measurement). Price gains had been a tad lower in the prior months.

Why is it accelerating? The continuing shortage of inventory is leading to active competition among buyers. Other price trends for January, including NAR’s median sales price, is showing even faster gains. Such a trend of price growth outpacing incomes is not healthy nor sustainable. Only an increase in inventory can soften the price pressure. Any impediments to new home construction need to be re-examined and possibly removed soon.”