Atlanta home prices decelerated as the peak of the summer passed, rising a little less quickly for the month than the national average, according to a closely-watched survey.
For the year, metro Atlanta is still outpacing other markets: the average metro Atlanta price in August was up 5.6 percent from a year ago, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Index, which was released this morning.
That compares to a 5.1 percent increase in the average price of the top 20 metro areas.
But the arc of the increases is flattening: metro Atlanta’s prices in August were up just 0.2 percent from the prior month when they rose 0.8 percent, according to Case-Shiller.
The top 20 metros saw an increase of 0.4 percent during August.
And those numbers are not adjusted for normal seasonal variations. When seasonal patterns are accounted for, Atlanta prices were flat for the month and the large metro average up just 0.1 percent.
But even if average prices were rising more slowly, higher values come during a time of low inflation, which makes them count for more, said David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P Index Committee. “Even excluding food and energy, core inflation was 1.9 percent. One result is that a 5 percent price increase in the value of a house means more today than it did in 2005 and 2006, the peak of the housing boom when the inflation rate was higher.”
Case-Shiller is not as current as some other housing surveys, but the index claims greater accuracy and breadth. The index is based on a three-month moving average of sales, using repeat sales of homes. It does not include prices of new construction.