Growth in Puget Sound home prices accelerated as 2019 drew to a close, topping national averages for the first time all year, according to the latest data from the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index.
The local residential market got off to a timorous start last year, but finished 2019 showing year-over-year gains of 4.1%, a 0.2% change over November.
That’s on par with the rest of the country, where home price growth also accelerated after a long period of slowed growth.
Nationally, home prices rose by 3.8% year-over-year in December, up from 3.5% the previous month.
It’s still too soon to say whether the two-month acceleration in growth “marks an end to the deceleration or is merely a pause in the longer-term trend,” said S&P Managing Director Craig Lazzara, in a statement.
For the seventh consecutive month, Phoenix posted the strongest year-over-year growth, at 6.5%, followed by cities in the Southeast: Charlotte, with 5.3% gains, and Tampa, with gains of 5.2%.
Seattle’s gains matched those in another Southeastern city, Atlanta, which has been among the strongest national markets for the past year.
As a whole, 2019 closed with “stable” 3.8% price growth, capping eight years of increasing housing prices, Lazzara said.
Home prices at the end of the year are 59% above their 2012 trough, and 15% above their pre-financial-crisis peak.