WASHINGTON — U.S. home prices rose at the slowest pace in more than six years in March, a sign weaker sales are keeping a lid on price increases.
The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index climbed 2.7% from a year earlier, down from an annual gain of 3% in February.
Price gains in formerly red-hot cities such as Seattle and San Francisco have noticeably cooled. Nationwide, home price increases have run ahead of wage growth for five years, leaving many homes out of reach. That has slowed sales, forcing would-be sellers to rein in price increases.
The 20-city price index has fallen sharply from a year ago, when it increased 6.7%. Seattle’s home prices rose 1.6% in March from a year ago, down from a 13% gain in March 2018. Prices in San Francisco rose just 1.4%. The biggest increase was in Las Vegas, at 8.2%, followed by Phoenix, at 6.1%.
Sales of existing homes slipped in April and are 4.4% lower than they were a year earlier.