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Real Estate Oregon

Home prices climb in U.S., Portland

From the Oregonian:

Home prices climbed in major metropolitan areas across the country in February, picking up speed in most — but not in the Portland area.

Prices rose 0.5 percent in February across 20 major metros surveyed in the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller home price index. Year-over-year increases picked up, from 4.5 percent in January to 5 percent in February.

In the Portland area, home prices rose 0.7 percent in February, reaching a level 7.1 percent higher than a year earlier. Of the 20 cities surveyed, only Portland, San Diego and Las Vegas saw the pace of year-over-year increases slow.

Real Estate Oregon

The rate at which home prices are growing has slowed significantly from a year ago, when most cities were seeing year-over-year increases of more than 10 percent.

The more modest annual increases seen recently suggest the housing market is finding its balance after years of boom-bust swings.

But the housing market hasn’t fully healed from the housing crash.

“While nationally, prices are recovering, new construction of single family homes remains very weak despite low vacancy rates among both renters and owner-occupied homes,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee.

While some cities are setting new home-price records — namely Denver and Dallas, which have topped their housing boom peaks and then some — prices nationally are still 10 percent short of the peak set in July 2006.

“If a complete recovery means new highs all around ,we’re not there yet,” Blitzer said.

But looking back to 2000, the baseline year for the Case-Shiller index, might offer a better sense of where home prices are, Blitzer said. Since then, home prices have increased at a rate of 1.7 percent when adjusted for inflation.


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