Seattle-Area Appreciation at Highest Rate Since 2005

housing market

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.

Home Value Appreciation Slows Nationwide

The annual home value appreciation slowed in March down from 5.4 % down to 5.1%, which could be a sign of moderation in the market. In the past, housing markets have been expecting annual home value appreciations close to 3%, but according to the Zillow home value forecast for March 2014, we’re looking at an increase of 3.2%. While this is fairly close to the historical norm, there are some local markets where home values continue to increase at Usain Bolt speed. for-sale-sign

Five cities have increased at a rate higher than 20%- San Francisco, Phoenix, Las Vegas, San Jose, and Sacramento. While the National housing market overall has rebounded strongly over the past year, the spike in home values experienced during this times isn’t always expected to stick, and recent trends might indicate that the market is trying to find  a middle ground. As more inventory becomes available, we can expect home value appreciation to slow.