The latest release of the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index shows that home prices rose in September 2014 at the slowest pace in more than two years nationwide. The index rose 4.9 percent in September from September 2013 but was down from 5.6 percent in August and the smallest gain since October 2012.
Nationally, sales of existing homes rose in October at the fastest rate this year, evidence that the housing market is rebounding from a slowdown last spring.
However, analysts cautioned that household incomes have been flat after adjusting for inflation for the past several years, making it harder for many Americans, particularly first-time buyers, to afford a home. Many younger Americans also must deal with student loan debt and thus are renting rather than buying. In fact, Last month, first-time buyers comprised just 29 percent of home sales, below the 40 percent they have historically represented.