Home-price growth in 20 U.S. cities picked up for the fourth straight month with Tampa, Florida, showing the biggest gains. 

A measure of prices in those 20 cities, including the Seattle area, climbed 21.2% through March following a 20.3% gain in February, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index showed Tuesday.

All 20 cities reported double-digit price increases for the year ended in March, and prices in Tampa jumped 34.8%, according to a statement. 

In the Seattle area, prices were up 27.7% year-over-year, the seventh biggest leap of the 20 cities.

Seattle prices increased 5.6% from February to March, the region’s biggest month-to-month jump since the index began tracking Seattle in 1990.

Even so, since March, the local housing market has begun to cool down as interest rates climb. The Case-Shiller index lags by two months and reflects single-family home sales in parts of King, Snohomish and Pierce counties.

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“Those of us who have been anticipating a deceleration in the growth rate of U.S. home prices will have to wait at least a month longer,” Craig Lazzara, a managing director at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in the statement. 

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Homebuyers are facing a worsening affordability situation with mortgage rates hovering around the highest levels in more than a decade. Further price appreciation threatens to add to the pain even as higher rates and economic uncertainty have started to soften the market slightly. Redfin Corp. said earlier this month that the number of sellers cutting prices hit the highest level since October 2019. 

Nationally, prices rallied 20.6%, but S&P Dow Jones Indices’ Lazzara warned that a deceleration could be on the horizon.

“Mortgages are becoming more expensive as the Federal Reserve has begun to ratchet up interest rates, suggesting that the macroeconomic environment may not support extraordinary home-price growth for much longer,” Lazzara said. “Although one can safely predict that price gains will begin to decelerate, the timing of the deceleration is a more difficult call.”

Seattle Times business reporter Heidi Groover contributed to this report.