Home Prices Rose at Slower Pace in September
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose more slowly in September than in August, a sign that weaker sales are preventing the kinds of sharp price gains that occurred earlier this year.
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 0.7 percent from August to September, down from a 1.3 percent gain from July to August. Year over year, prices jumped 13.3 percent from September 2012, the fastest such gain since February 2006.
Monthly price gains slowed in 19 of the 20 cities tracked by the index. Charlotte, N.C., was only city to post a price decline from August to September.
The Case-Shiller index covers roughly half of U.S. homes. It isn’t adjusted for seasonal variations, so the monthly changes partly reflect slower buying activity in the late summer and fall.
Meanwhile, U.S. homebuilders planned to build apartments in October at the fastest pace in five years, a sign they expect a jump in rentals in coming months.
The Commerce Department says plans to build houses and apartments were approved at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.034 million. That’s 6.2 percent higher than the September rate of 974,000 and the fastest since June 2008, just before the peak of the financial crisis.
Nearly all of the increase was for multi-family homes, a part of residential construction that can be volatile. Those permits rose 15.3 percent to a rate of 414,000.
Permits for single-family houses rose 0.8 percent to a rate of 620,000.
The government report did not include information on homes started. That was delayed again by last month’s government shutdown.
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