Oct. 29--The Seattle home market in August hit its highest price level since November 2008, even as the run-up in prices appeared to slow, according to S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home-price data released Tuesday.
The average price of existing single-family homes in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties rose 0.5 percent over July, the weakest gain among the 20 metro areas in the Case-Shiller index.
Still, the Seattle area's prices climbed 13.2 percent over the year, the strongest annual gain since late 2006, according to the index.
The 20-city index climbed 1.3 percent in August over July and 12.8 percent over the past 12 months, its biggest annual gain since February 2006.
Las Vegas led the 19 other metros with a 29.2 percent annual gain in prices. San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles also posted annual gains of more than 20 percent.
Seattle's average price has rebounded about 21 percent off its February 2011 low, but is still 16.6 percent below its previous peak. Las Vegas is still 47 percent off its peak, according to Case-Shiller.
Stan Humphries, chief economist at Seattle-based real estate website Zillow, said rapid home value appreciation and rising mortgage interest rates have outpaced income growth in some hot markets.
"It's good to see the pace of home value appreciation moderate, allowing the market to get back into a more sustainable balance and not topple over," he said. "Home value appreciation is better when it's boring, and we expect to see continued moderation."
The index measures the average price change in existing single-family homes that sold during a three-month period and did not undergo substantial remodeling since the home's previous sale. Homes owned for less than six months are excluded.
Sanjay Bhatt: 206-464-3103 or firstname.lastname@example.org On Twitter @sbhatt