Last year, housing prices had their best year since 2005, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index released Tuesday.
National home prices increased by 11.3% in 2013.
The report said the 10-City Composite posted a 13.6% increase in 2013, while the 20-City Composite gained 13.4%.
The positive news was tempered by data showing that month-to-month gains have been slowing, suggesting that the strongest part of the recovery in home values may be over, said David Blitzer, index committee chairman at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
“Year-over-year values for the two monthly composites weakened and the quarterly National Index barely improved,” Blitzer said. “The seasonally adjusted data also exhibit some softness and loss of momentum.”
Existing home sales fell 5.1% in January from December to the slowest pace in more than a year. Permits for new residential construction and housing starts were both down and below expectations.
Blitzer said cold weather across much of the country partially explained the weakness, but noted that higher home prices and mortgage rates were taking a toll on affordability.
“Mortgage default rates, as shown by the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Index, are back to their precrisis levels, but bank lending standards remain strict,” he said.