Home prices, driven by low mortgage rates and Americans moving to the suburbs, surged across the United States in December 2020.
The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, released Tuesday, climbed 10.1% in December from a year earlier. The year-end jump was the biggest since April 2014 and follows a strong 9.2% year-over-year gain in November.
In December in Atlanta, home sales grew roughly one percent month-over-month from November, but year-over-year saw growth in Atlanta jump 8.9 percent. Home prices climbed 14.4% in Phoenix, 13.6% in Seattle and 13% in San Diego. But prices rose all over. Chicago, which recorded the slowest price gain, saw a 7.7% uptick.
The housing market has fought off the coronavirus pandemic with the aid of rock-bottom mortgage rates on home loans. The average rate on the benchmark 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage ticked up to 2.81% last week from 2.73% but remains well below where it was a year earlier: 3.49%.
But the Commerce Department reported last Thursday that U.S. home construction fell 6% in January, dragged down by a 12.2% drop in construction of single-family homes; apartment construction climbed 16.2%. Still, applications for building permits, which typically signal where home building is headed, rose sharply in January.