Seattle-area home prices rose only 1.6% in the 12 months through March 2019, a sharp contrast from the 13% growth they experienced in the previous year.
Nationally, U.S. home prices rose at the slowest pace in more than six years in March, a sign that weaker sales are keeping a lid on price increases. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home-price index rose 2.7% from a year earlier, down from an annual gain of 3% in February.
Seattle, which consistently outpaced the nation in rising home prices for years before the local market temporarily shifted into reverse last spring, now has rising prices once again. But like some other high-priced markets, it has not returned to its previous torrid pace of growth.
The Seattle metro area’s 1.6% yearly increase was smaller than 16 of the 20 cities in the Case-Shiller index. Only San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles saw slower price increases.
Home prices grew most quickly in Las Vegas, at 8.2 percent, followed by Phoenix and Tampa.
Nationwide, home-price increases have run ahead of wage growth for five years, leaving many homes out of reach. That has slowed sales, forcing would-be sellers to rein in price increases. The 20-city price index has fallen sharply from a year ago, when it increased 6.7%.
“The patterns seen in the last year or more continue: year-over-year price gains in most cities are consistently shrinking. Double-digit annual gains have vanished,” said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.