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US home prices increase 4% in April

Posted on Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 By Christopher Rugaber, AP Economics Writer


In this Sept. 3, 2019 file photo a sign rests in front of a newly constructed home, in Westwood, Mass. U.S. home prices rose in April for the eighth straight month, even as sales have stumbled, a sign the coronavirus outbreak has had little impact on real estate values. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index climbed 4% in April, the largest gain since December 2018, up from 3.9% in March. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices gains accelerated in April even as sales have stumbled, a sign the coronavirus outbreak has had little impact on real estate values.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index climbed 4% in April compared with a year earlier, the largest gain since December 2018, up from 3.9% in March.

Home sales have fallen sharply for three straight months to their lowest annual pace in nearly a decade in May. Yet the supply of available houses for sale has also declined, compared with a year ago, forcing remaining buyers to bid up prices.

“The price trend that was in place pre-pandemic seems so far to be undisturbed, at least at the national level,” said Craig Lazzara, managing director of S&P Dow Jones Industries. “Prices in 12 of the 20 cities in our survey were at an all-time high in April.”

Sales of existing homes are likely to pick up in coming months, however. A measure of signed contracts to buy homes soared 44% in May, a record increase. And sales of new homes also rebounded in May.

Phoenix posted the biggest price gain with an increase of 8.8%, compared with a year earlier. Seattle followed with 7.3% and Minneapolis with 6.4%. Prices from the Detroit metropolitan area were not included in the 20-city index because of delays at the recording office in Wayne County, which includes Detroit.

The Case-Shiller index is composed of a three-month average of home prices, so this month's data includes figures from February, March and April.

6 Stocks That Will Benefit From a Dovish Federal Reserve

The quaint correction that was labeled the “tech wreck” of 2018 seems like a distant memory to investors. What also seems like a distant memory is any thought of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates.

At the end of 2018, the Federal Reserve had raised its benchmark federal funds rate. With the trade dispute with China dragging on, there was increasing pressure on the Fed to lower interest rates. When interest rates are lower, stocks will generally rise as investors have no other option for growth.

In July 2019, the doves got their wish. But in a move that now seems to be a “what did they know move”, the Fed dropped rates again in October. The market soared to record highs in January and early February. Since mid-February however, the market has fallen dramatically, and the Fed juiced the market one more time by cutting rates down to levels not seen since the financial crisis.

None of us know for sure when the U.S. economy will be opened up. And while stocks are still a good investment, not every stock is a smart investment at this time. But some stocks perform well when interest rates are falling and that’s why we’ve prepared this presentation.

These six stocks stand to benefit from both low-interest rates and the unique economic conditions being brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

View the "6 Stocks That Will Benefit From a Dovish Federal Reserve".

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