Home prices have been rising slower for ten consecutive months, according to the Standard &Poors/Case-Shiller National Home Price Index.  For October (the most recent month reported) single-family home prices were increasing at an annual rate of 4.6%, versus an annual rate of 4.8% for September.  By contrast, these prices were rising at a double-digit annual rate about a year ago.
                Despite this deceleration in the rate at which prices are rising, this trend might be on the verge of reversing course.  In August, all of thespecific cities included in the twenty-city indexregistered slowing growth while in September all but two showed slowing growth.However, eight of these twenty cities showed an increase in October, with Miami having the highest annual price increase at 9.5%.  Las Vegas was at the opposite end of the spectrum with a 1.2% annual rate of price decrease.
                Prices in the Composite Indices are now at levels from ten years ago, but still are below the peak prices achieved about eight or so years ago.  Some economists feel that an optimal annual price growth is 5%.  At this rate buyers tend to view homes as affordable while owners feel that they are building home equity at a comfortable pace, without much fear by either groups of the onset of another housing bubble.  With increasing rent levels as well as housing, this recent data appears to point toward 2015 as being a good year for housing in the United States.
                (Standard &Poors calculates single-family home sales price data monthly, publishing a national index as well as 10- and 20-city major Metropolitan Statistical Area Composite Indices.  The prices are based on methods which take into account the quality of homes sold.)