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National home prices continued to increase over the first month of 2020, prior to coronavirus outbreak. Price growth will certainly decline as future months’ data is recorded.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, reported by S&P Dow Jones Indices, rose at a seasonally adjusted annual growth rate of 6.2% in January, faster than a 5.3% increase in December. It was the highest gain since February 2018. On a year-over-year basis, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index posted a 3.9% annual gain in January, up from 3.7% in December. Going forward, national home prices are expected to increase at a slower pace due to the 2020 downturn.

Meanwhile, the Home Price Index, released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.1% in January, following a 9.1% increase in December. On a year-over-year basis, the FHFA Home Price NSA Index rose by 5.2% in January, after an increase of 5.4% in December.

In addition to tracking home price changes nationwide, S&P also reported home price indexes across 20 metro areas. In January, local home prices varied and their annual growth rates ranged from -3.6% to 13.0%. Among the 20 metro areas, eight metro areas exceeded the national average of 6.2%. Seattle, Las Vegas and Phoenix had the highest home price appreciation in January. Seattle reported a 13.0% increase, followed by Las Vegas with an 8.5% increase and Phoenix with an 8.3% increase. Home prices in two metro areas declined in January. They were Chicago (-3.6%) and New York (-1.2%).