Atlanta home prices up 5.5 percent for last year, Case-Shiller says

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Metro Atlanta home prices finished last year up 5.5 percent for the year, according to a closely watched national survey released this morning.

Atlanta’s price rise during 2015 was just slightly ahead of the national pace, although it was slightly slower than the 5.7 percent rate of increase for the nation’s top 20 metro areas, according to the report from the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index.

Metro Atlanta home prices did not change during December, which was, the same as the no-change averaged for the top 20 metro areas.

Overall, the top 20 inched up 0.1 percent in November, while Atlanta had slipped 0.3 percent during that month, said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones.

The end of fall is typically a slow time in the market, and the trajectory is still upward – but real estate is decelerating, he said. “While home prices continue to rise, the pace is slowing a bit.”

The chief economist at Zillow, a Seattle-based real estate research firm, said the market faces a range of concerns as the “selling season” of spring approaches.

Perhaps the most obvious worry is inventory — the number of homes that are listed for sale. But there are economic undercurrents too, from oil to global woes, said Svenja Gudell. “Global economic volatility is contributing to a strengthening U.S. dollar, which will impact demand from foreign buyers, and help keep mortgage interest rates low.”

Among the largest metros, Atlanta’s price increase for the year was tied with Charlotte for the 14th fastest.

Hottest markets were Portland, where prices were up 11.2 percent, San Francisco, which scored an 10.3 percent rise, and Denver, where prices climbed 10.2 percent.

No metros saw prices drop during the year. The slowest improvements were in Washington, D.C., where home prices edged up just 1.7 percent, and Chicago, which saw a 2.4 percent increase.

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