We like to provide an update on trends in US home prices every few months based on the monthly release of the S&P/Case-Shiller home price indices. While the data has a 2-month lag, it’s still helpful for tracking longer-term trends in real estate prices from city to city across the US.

The first chart below shows the year-over-year change in home prices from December 2016 to December 2017 (remember, the data has a 2-month lag). As shown, the composite 10 and 20-city indices and the national index are all up roughly 6% y/y.

Seattle has seen the biggest y/y gains at +12.7% (can you take a guess why?), followed by Las Vegas and then San Francisco. On the lower end of the spectrum, Chicago, DC, Cleveland and Miami have seen the smallest year-over-year gains in home prices.

Another interesting way to look at the data is to see how much home prices are up from their post-housing bubble lows (most lows weren’t made until early 2012). The National index is now up 46% from its lows, but most cities are up well over 50% from their lows at this point. San Francisco is up by far the most at +115%, followed by Las Vegas (+90%), Detroit (+82%), and Seattle (+80%).

On the weaker side of things, New York and Cleveland have gained the least off their lows at roughly +25%. With the recent tax law changes, it’s going to be hard for New York to bring itself up from the rear.

Finally, let’s take a look at how prices now compare to their prior housing bubble highs (mostly made back in 2005 and 2006).Quite a few cities now have home prices that are well above their prior highs from the mid-2000s bubble. Denver and Dallas are up the most at more than 40%+ from their prior bubble highs, while Seattle and Portland are both roughly 20% above mid-2000s peak levels.

At the national level, home prices have now eclipsed their housing bubble highs by 6%, but both the composite 10-city and composite 20-city indices are still just a hair below their highs.

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