Home Price Growth Slows for First Time in 18 Months

Prices were still up an annual rate of almost 20% in September

Two men looking at house listings at brokerage office window
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Chris Whitehead/Getty Images

Home prices are finally showing signs of cooling, with growth slowing in September for the first time in 18 months.

Home prices rose 19.5% from September 2020, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index, published Tuesday. That’s lower than the 19.8% annual increase in August and the first deceleration since May 2020, when growth eased to 4.4% from 4.6% the prior month.

Prices for homes soared during the pandemic as people spent more time doing just about everything from home, including working and exercising, and craved more space to do it in. But homebuyers, taking advantage of extremely low mortgage rates, faced an inventory crunch that sent prices soaring at a record pace earlier this year.

Price growth may have hit its peak for now though, as affordability becomes a bigger issue for buyers.

“If I had to choose only one word to describe September 2021’s housing price data, the word would be ‘deceleration,’” said Craig Lazzara, managing director at S&P DJI. “Housing prices continued to show remarkable strength in September, though the pace of price increases declined slightly.”

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  1. S&P Dow Jones Indices. “S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller Index Reports 19.5% Annual Home Price Gain in September.”

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