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Case-Shiller, FHFA Agree House Appreciation Slowing

Depending on which report you read this morning - that from Case-Shiller or from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), home prices in April were either flattening or out and out flat. S&P's Case-Shiller Home Price Indices (HPI) were up by about 1 percent nationally but many cities reported lower returns monthly than in March and nearly all had annual increases lower than in the previous report. The FHFI HPI showed no increase whatsoever from March when the HPI increased by 0.7 percent.

Case-Shiller's 10-City and 20-City Composites rose 1.0 and 1.1 respectively from March to April and posted annual gains of 10.8 percent. Annual gains for the two indices in March were in excess of 12 percent. Nineteen of the 20 cities also posted lower annual gains in April than in the previous month and three former high-flying cities, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco, saw annual returns worsen by approximately three percentage points. San Francisco's 18.2 percent annual gain marked the first time in 14 months this statistic fell below 20 percent. The city however did pull out a monthly gain of 2.3 percent.

All 20 cities had higher HPI's in April than in March but seven, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix San Diego, and San Francisco had smaller gains than in the previous month. Boston's HPI was up 2.9 percent from March, the largest monthly gain in 27 years. It was also the only city to improve on its March annual number, a 12 month gain that went from 8.3 percent to 9.0 percent.

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