Charlotte-area home prices up 3.8%

Charlotte-area home prices rose 3.8 percent in June from the same month last year, as appreciation continues to slow nationwide, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller report.

Around the nation, prices rose 8.1 percent over the same period in a composite index of 20 cities, the report shows. Every city posted a slowdown in price gains on a year-over-year basis.

“Home price gains continue to ease as they have since last fall,” David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in a statement. “For the first time since February 2008, all cities showed lower annual rates than the previous month.”

The slowdown in price gains comes as home sales nationally lag year-ago activity. Last week, the National Association of Realtors said sales stood at an annual pace of 5.15 million homes as of July, down 4.3 percent from the annual pace as of the same time last year.

Blitzer said rising mortgage rates will further slow price gains. According to mortgage giant Freddie Mac, the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.13 percent in July, down from 4.16 in June but above the 3.41 percent at the start of 2013.

“Other housing indicators – starts, existing home sales and builders’ sentiment – are positive,” Blitzer said. “Taken together, these point to a more normal housing sector.”

In the Charlotte region, home prices rose 0.4 percent in June from May. Even as home prices continue to increase, they remain below peak levels hit before the housing downturn.

As of June, average home prices across the U.S. had returned to fall 2004 levels but were about 17 percent below summer of 2006 peaks. Prices in Charlotte are back to summer 2006 levels but remain 5.8 percent below their peak in August 2007.