Las Vegas, Phoenix and Seattle continue to see the highest year-over-year gains in the index's 20-city composite. Las Vegas home prices were 12 percent higher compared with November 2017. Phoenix saw an 8.1 percent annual increase, and Seattle's gains came in at 6.3 percent. Seattle had been seeing double-digit price increases in 2017. Just seven of the 20 cities reported higher price increases in the year ended in November 2018 versus the year ended in October 2018.
"The pace of price increases are being dampened by declining sales of existing homes and weaker affordability," said David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices in a release.
Sales peaked in November 2017 and then began falling as mortgage rates rose. After rising steadily, rates began to drop again in November 2018, following a change in policy at the Federal Reserve. But the rate on the popular 30-year fixed mortgage is still higher today than it was one year ago.
"Housing market conditions are mixed while analysts' comments express concerns that housing is weakening and could affect the broader economy. Current low inventories of homes for sale – about a four-month supply – are supporting home prices. New home construction trends, like sales of existing homes, peaked in late 2017 and are flat to down since then," added Blitzer.
Rising wages and continued growth in employment are all favorable, he added, and with prices moderating and rates currently not rising, the spring market could see a slight boost.
"Slower price growth will help would-be buyers feel like their goal isn't moving away faster than they can catch up. Against incomes rising at a roughly 3 percent pace, 4 percent home price growth is nearly at just the right pace," said Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com.
WATCH: Existing home sales drop sharply