Despite seeing prices for single-family homes in the Seattle area slip for the last three months of 2013, annual appreciation in December was at its highest rate since 2005, according to the S&P/Case Schiller 20-city index released on Tuesday.
Home prices in the Seattle area dropped by 0.5 percent in December (compared to 0.1 percent in November), edged out by the 20-city index, which dropped 0.1 percent in the same time period. Similarly, prices for the 20-city index rose by 13.4 percent in December, beating out the local market, where prices increased 12.4 percent.
However, gains nationally may be slowing, owing to rising home prices and mortgage rates. Although home prices increased across the 20-city index during 2013, 11 cities saw a decrease in appreciation. Some in the real estate community also believe the inclusion of the sales of bank-owned properties to third-party investors is causing reported appreciation rates to skew higher.