Seattle could be shaking off its recent slide in home prices to rejoin other major U.S. cities, where prices continue to grow.
Two months ago, Seattle was the only major market in the country to post negative year-over-year housing price returns. That may have been just a blip, according to the latest data from the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home-price index, which shows prices rising incrementally over the summer.
Home prices in the Seattle metro area are once more balancing at the edge between growth and decline, sending the market that includes King, Snohomish and Pierce counties back to a holding pattern that has characterized much of early 2019, according to the index, which lags by two months.
Data reported Tuesday shows that compared to July last year, prices changed almost not at all, down 0.6%. But between May and July, the index ticked upward by a seasonally adjusted 0.5%.
“Seattle may be turning around from its recent negative streak,” said Philip Murphy, managing director at S&P Dow Jones Indices, in a statement.
Across the country, home price gains continued a slowdown that’s now lasted well over a year. Last month, housing prices grew 3.1% — half as fast as they were rising a year ago. This month showed only a slight acceleration, to 3.2%.
But home sales are up, compared to a year ago. That suggests that prices, too, may start rising in the coming months, according to Zillow economist Matthew Speakman.
The sales increase, “teamed with steady home builder sentiment, growing home construction employment and still-low mortgage rates, show the housing market still has plenty of fight as summer turns to fall,” Speakman said in a statement.
As they have for the last three months, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Charlotte, N.C., showed the highest growth. In July, Phoenix led the way with a 5.8% year-over-year price increase, meaning it’s taken Las Vegas’s former spot as the hottest market in the country for two months running. The competition isn’t even close: Las Vegas and Charlotte both posted price gains of around 4.7%.
A previous version of this article repeated an order-of-magnitude-error contained in an S&P CoreLogic press release. The Seattle-area index is 0.6% lower in July 2019 than it was twelve months earlier.