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Photographer: Charles Mostoller/Bloomberg

Home Prices in U.S. Cities Jump at Fastest Pace Since 2014

Updated on
  • Surge in Case-Shiller index began in July with rates low
  • Americans searching for houses drive pandemic rallly

Home prices in 20 U.S. cities surged in December, with low mortgage rates fueling the housing market.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index of property values climbed 10.1% from a year earlier, beating the median estimate of 9.9% in a Bloomberg survey of economists. It followed a 9.2% gain in November and was the biggest jump since 2014.

Phoenix, San Diego and Seattle posted the biggest gains in prices, according to a press release on Tuesday. Nationally, the Case-Shiller index jumped 10.4% in December, also the biggest surge since 2014.

Historically low mortgage rates have fueled a pandemic housing rally, with a scant inventory of homes to buy helping to boost prices.

December was the fourth straight month that prices gained the most since 2014. The rally started in July and picked up steam in the final months of 2020, with Americans looking to take advantage of low borrowing costs to buy suburban homes.

“These data are consistent with the view that Covid has encouraged potential buyers to move from urban apartments to suburban homes,” said Craig Lazzara, global head of index investment strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Prices gained 14.4% in Phoenix, leading all cities for the 19th straight. In the West, the overall gain was 10.8%.

Data for Detroit were excluded because of pandemic-related reporting delays.

(Updates with more information throughout.)