Regional Home Prices Lag State and Nation

Prices LagIn a reverse of headlines – Regional Home Prices Lag. Home prices continue to rise in Southwest Florida, but not as fast as in the state or nationally.

Single-family home prices in the Sarasota-Manatee region grew 3.4 percent over the year in January, trailing the average increases of 5.1 percent throughout Florida and 4.4 percent in the U.S., real estate database CoreLogic reported Tuesday.

Sarasota-Manatee ranked 252nd for price gains out of the 403 metro areas analyzed in the report.

Home prices in the region remain 14.1 percent off their pre-recession peaks, CoreLogic said, the nation’s 43rd lowest peak-to-current difference.

“The spike in mortgage interest rates last fall chilled buyer activity and led to a slowdown in home sales and price growth,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic. “Fixed-rate mortgage rates have dropped 0.6 percentage points since November 2018 and today are lower than they were a year ago. With interest rates at this level, we expect a solid home-buying season this spring.”

An earlier report from the Florida Realtors trade association found the median price of a resale home in Sarasota-Manatee increased 3.3 percent over the year, to $299,000, in the first month of 2019.

Local home prices gained 0.75 percent from December to January, topping the 0.1 percent U.S. increase.

Nationwide, home prices grew at the weakest pace since August 2012. They are forecast to rise 3.4 percent over the next 12 months.

“The slowing growth in home prices was inevitable in many respects as buyers pull back in the face of higher borrowing and ownership costs,” said Frank Martell, president/CEO of CoreLogic. “As we head into 2019, we can expect continued strong employment growth and rising incomes which could support a re-acceleration in home-price appreciation later this year.”

States with the highest year-over-year home appreciation were:

Idaho, 11.2 percent

Nevada, 10.2 percent

Utah, 8.9 percent

Two states posted annual price declines:

Louisiana, down 0.8 percent, and North Dakota, off 0.7 percent.

Herald-Tribune March 5, 2019