Home prices were still gaining in July, but for 15 of 20 cities included the S&P Case-Shiller 10 and 20-city Home Price Indices, the pace of increasing home prices is slowing down. National home prices rose by 1.80 percent in July as compared to 2.20 percent in June.
Home prices grew by 0.60 percent from June to July on a seasonally-adjusted basis. This was the lowest month-to-month gain since September 2012.
David Blitzer, index committee chairman of S&P Dow Jones Indices, said that higher mortgage rates are hitting the housing market. Mr. Blitzer noted that mortgage rates rose by more than a percentage point between May and the Federal Reserve’s statement last week.
The Fed was widely expected to reduce its monthly bond purchases from $85 billion to $75 billion, but the Fed decided not to reduce its bond purchases as the economy has not recovered sufficiently.
Mortgage Rates Fall
High home prices and unemployment are making it difficult for first-time and moderate income buyers to compete; buyers sitting on the sidelines are eventually expected to add to the demand for homes.
Mortgage rates fell after the Fed’s announcement, but Mr. Blitzer said that the drop in mortgage rates would likely have a temporary impact on housing. He said that the rate of increase