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Seattle home price increases continue to decline, latest figures show

by KOMO Staff & Associated Press

Seattle's average year-over-home home price increases have dropped to their lowest level in three years – but still well above the national average, according to the latest figures released Tuesday.

The S & P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index shows that Seattle's yearly home prices rose by 8.4 percent in September – down from 9.6 percent the month before and well below the double-digit percentage increases that have been the norm since late 2015. Still, Seattle's 8.4 percent increase is well above the national average of 5.1[ads1] percent, which dropped from 5.5 percent in the previous month. It was the sixth straight month that home price increases have slowed overnight.

The weaker price gains reflect a broader slowdown in the U.S. housing market. Sales of existing homes rose modestly in October, snapping a six-month streak of declines. Men salget er fortsatt 5,1 prosent lavere enn de var et år siden. New home sales have fallen for four straight months.

The declines can be mostly traced to higher mortgage rates, which have jumped in the past year. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage is now 4.9 percent, up from 3.9 percent a year ago.

Home prices, even with the slowdown, are still rising more quickly than incomes. Combined with higher borrowing costs, that has made a home purchase less affordable for many Americans.

The largest yearly price increases were in Las Vegas and San Francisco, where prices rose 13.5 percent and 9.9 percent respectively. Seattle's 8.4 percent increase was the third-highest of the 20 largest cities.

The smallest home price increases were in New York, Washington, DC, and Chicago, where they increased 2.6 percent, 2.9 percent and 3 percent.

Nationwide, a shortage of homes for sale has plagued potential buyers for the past couple of years, but the inventory of unsold homes has crept higher in recent months. Ralph McLaughlin, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic, a real estate data firm, said that is bringing supply and demand more into balance.

Still, "years of price growth outpacing income growth, as well as rising mortgage rates, is making the cost of buying homes increasingly expensive, "McLaughlin said.

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