A new report adds more evidence to what we already know: Twin Cities home buyers hit the brakes towards the end of 2013. After several months of double-digit gains, the latest Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller Home price index for the Twin Cities posted a 9.7 percent annual increase during December.Though prices are on the rise, they increased at a much more moderate pace than they have during much of the year.
The Twin Cities index, which tracks repeat sales of the same house for a rolling three-month average, stood at 138.14, which means that housing prices have increae just over 38 percent since January 2000.
Across the country, the housing recovery lost momentumThe report's 20-city composite increased 13.4 percent - 30 basis points lower than the November rate - with sand belt states posting the biggest increase. Las Vegas, for example, posted a 25.5 percent year-over-year increase.
Here's what David Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, had to say about the report: "The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index ended its best year since 2005,” he said. “However, gains are slowing from month-to-month and the strongest part of the recovery in home values may be over. Year-over-year values for the two monthly Composites weakened and the quarterly National Index barely improved. The seasonally adjusted data also exhibit some softness and loss of momentum."
In mid January I reported that home prices in 2013 posted the strongest gains in five years, but that in December sales slowed dramatically. Many experts blame the slowdown on wintery weather that's made buying and selling less than appealing.