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posted on 27 December 2016

Case-Shiller Home Price Index October 2016 Shows 5.1 % Year-over-Year Growth

Written by Steven Hansen

The non-seasonally adjusted Case-Shiller home price index (20 cities) year-over-year rate of home price growth was unchanged from last months initially reported 5.1% (but has been revised down to 5.0 %). The index authors stated "affordability trends do not suggest an immediate reversal in home price trends".

Analyst Opinion of Case-Shiller HPI

Although over the past few years there has been a moderate slowing of the Case Shiller HPI year-over-year growth - this month too saw a marginal slowing. Many pundits believe home prices are back in a bubble. Maybe, but the falling inventory of homes for sale keeps home prices relatively high. I continue to see this a situation of supply and demand. It is the affordability of the homes which is becoming an issue for the lower segments of consumers.

  • 20 city unadjusted home price rate of growth accelerated 0.1 % month-over-month. [Econintersect uses the change in year-over-year growth from month-to-month to calculate the change in rate of growth]
  • Note that Case-Shiller index is an average of the last three months of data.
  • The market expected:
Consensus Range Consensus Actual
20-city, SA - M/M 0.5 % to 0.8 % 0.5 % +0.6 %
20-city, NSA - M/M +0.1 %
20-city, NSA - Yr/Yr 4.8 % to 5.3 % 5.1 % +5.1 %

S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices Year-over-Year Change

Comparing all the home price indices, it needs to be understood each of the indices uses a unique methodology in compiling their index - and no index is perfect.

Comparison of Home Price Indices - Case-Shiller 3 Month Average (blue line, left axis), CoreLogic (green line, left axis) and National Association of Realtors 3 Month Average (red line, right axis)

z existing3.PNG

The way to understand the dynamics of home prices is to watch the direction of the rate of change. Here home price growth generally appears to be stabilize (rate of growth not rising or falling).

Year-over-Year Price Change Home Price Indices - Case-Shiller 3 Month Average (blue bar), CoreLogic (yellow bar) and National Association of Realtors 3 Month Average (red bar)

z existing5.PNG

There are some differences between the indices on the rate of "recovery" of home prices.

A synopsis of Authors of the Leading Indices:

Case Shiller's David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices:

Home prices and the economy are both enjoying robust numbers," says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director & Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "However, mortgage interest rates rose in November and are expected to rise further as home prices continue to outpace gains in wages and personal income. Affordability measures based on median incomes, home prices and mortgage rates show declines of 20-30% since home prices bottomed in 2012. With the current high consumer confidence numbers and low unemployment rate, affordability trends do not suggest an immediate reversal in home price trends. Nevertheless, home prices cannot rise faster than incomes and inflation indefinitely.

After the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Index bottomed in February 2012, its year-over-year growth accelerated to a peak rate of 10.9% in October 2013 and then gradually fell to its current rate of approximately 5%. During the same period, the highest year-over-year rate from any city was 29% in August and September 2013; currently the highest single city gain declined to approximately 11%. Both national and city growth in home prices slowed but remains above the growth rate of incomes and inflation.

CoreLogic believes low inventories are spurring rising home prices (October 2016 Data). Per Dr Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic and Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic stated:

While national home prices increased 6.7 percent, only nine states had home price growth at the same rate of growth or higher than the national average because the largest states, such as Texas, Florida and California, are experiencing high rates of home price appreciation

Home prices are continuing to soar across much of the U.S. led by major metro areas such as Boston, Los Angeles, Miami and Denver. Prices are being fueled by a potent cocktail of high demand, low inventories and historically low interest rates. Looking forward to next year, nationwide home prices are expected to climb another 5 percent in many parts of the country to levels approaching the pre-recession peak.

The National Association of Realtors says home sales prices continue to increase (November 2016 data):

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says it's been an outstanding three-month stretch for the housing market as 2016 nears the finish line. "The healthiest job market since the Great Recession and the anticipation of some buyers to close on a home before mortgage rates accurately rose from their historically low level have combined to drive sales higher in recent months," he said. "Furthermore, it's no coincidence that home shoppers in the Northeast — where price growth has been tame all year — had the most success last month."

"Existing housing supply at the beginning of the year was inadequate and is now even worse heading into 2017," added Yun. "Rental units are also seeing this shortage. As a result, both home prices and rents continue to far outstrip incomes in much of the country."

First-time buyers in higher priced cities will be most affected by rising prices and mortgage rates next year and will likely have to stretch their budget or make compromises on home size, price or location," said Yun.

NAR President William E. Brown says consumers looking to buy in 2017 should find a Realtor®, seek a preapproval from a lender and start their home search now. "It's never too early to begin viewing listings online and in person with a Realtor® to identify what's available within the budget and where," said Brown. "There are fewer available homes during the winter months but also fewer buyers. With mortgage rates and prices expected to increase as the year goes on, the first few months of 2017 could be an opportune time close on a home."

Black Knight Financial Services (formerly known as Lender Processing Services) October 2016 home price index Up 0.2 Percent for the Month; Up 5.6 Percent Year-Over-Year (up 0.2 % from last month). Note that Black Knight uses the current month closings only (not a three month average like Case-Shiller or a weighted average like CoreLogic), excludes short sales and REOs, and is not seasonally adjusted.

Econintersect publishes knowledgeable views of the housing market.

Caveats on the Use of Home Price Indices

The housing price decline seen since 2005 varies by zip code - and seems to have ended somewhere around the beginning of the 2Q2012. Every area of the country has differing characteristics. Since January 2006, the housing declines in Charlotte and Denver are well less than 10%, while Las Vegas home prices had declined almost 60%.

Each home price index uses a different methodology - and this creates slightly different answers.

The most broadly based index is the US Federal Housing Finance Agency's House Price Index (HPI) - a quarterly broad measure of the movement of single-family house prices. This index is a weighted, repeat-sales index on the same properties in 363 metro centers, compared to the 20 cities Case-Shiller.

The US Federal Housing Finance Agency also has an index (HPIPONM226S) based on 6,000,000 same home sales - a much broader index than Case-Shiller. Also, there is a big difference between home prices and owner's equity (OEHRENWBSHNO) which has been included on the graph below.

Comparing Various Home Price Indices to Owner's Equity (blue line)

With rents increasing and home prices declining - the affordability factor favoring rental vs owning is reversing. Rising rents are shifting the balance.

Price to Rent Ratio - Indexed on January 2000 - Based on Case-Shiller 20 cities index ratio to CPI Rent Index



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