Written by Steven Hansen
The non-seasonally adjusted Case-Shiller home price index (20 cities) for April 2014 (released today) rate of growth again declined sharply but showed the 23rd consecutive monthly year-over-year gain in housing prices since the end of the housing stimulus in 2010.
- 20 city unadjusted home price rate of growth decelerated 1.6% month-over-month. [note that headline unadjusted month-over-month change was +0.2% – Econintersect uses the change in year-over-year growth from month-to-month to calculate the change in rate of growth]
- Case-Shiller continues to show the highest year-over-year home price gains of any home price index.
- The market expected:
|20-city, SA – M/M||0.4 % to 1.9 %||0.8 %||0.2%|
|20-city, NSA – M/M||0.3 % to 1.0 %||0.8 %||1.1%|
|20-city, NSA – Yr/Yr||10.2 % to 12.0 %||11.4 %||10.8%|
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. The National Association of Realtors normally shows exaggerated movements which likely is due to inclusion of more higher value homes.
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)
The way to understand the dynamics of home prices is to watch the direction of the rate of change. Here home price growth is now decelerating.
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)
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:
Although home prices rose in April, the annual gains weakened, overall, prices are rising month-to-month but at a slower rate. Last year some Sunbelt cities were seeing year-over-year numbers close to 30%, now all are below 20%: Las Vegas (18.8%), Los Angeles (14.0%), Phoenix (9.8%), San Diego (15.3%) and San Francisco (18.2%). Other cities around the nation are also experiencing slower price increases.
While the annual numbers worsened, the monthly figures were seasonally strong. Five cities – Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle – reported monthly gains of 2% or more. Dallas and Denver gained 1.6% and continue to set new peaks. Boston and Charlotte are less than 10% away from their peaks.
Near term economic factors favor further gains in housing: mortgage rates are lower than a year ago, the Fed is expected to keep interest rates steady until mid-2015 and the labor market is improving. However, housing is not back to normal: prices are being supported by cash sales, low inventories and declining foreclosure and REO sales. First time home buyers are not back in force and qualifying for a mortgage remains challenging. The question is whether housing will bounce back before the Fed begins to tighten sometime next year.”
CoreLogic believes home price growth is slowing (April Data). Per Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic and Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic:
The weakness in home sales that began a few months ago is clearly signaling a slowdown in price appreciation. The 10.5 percent increase in April, compared to a year earlier, was the slowest rate of appreciation in 14 months
Home prices are continuing to rise as we head into the summer months. The purchase market continues to suffer from a dearth of inventory which we expect will continue to drive prices up over the year
The National Association of Realtors continue to live in their own world of hype (May 2014 data). Per Lawrence Yun , NAR chief economist and Steve Brown, NAR President:
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said current sales activity is rebounding after the lackluster first quarter. “Home buyers are benefiting from slower price growth due to the much-needed, rising inventory levels seen since the beginning of the year,” he said. “Moreover, sales were helped by the improving job market and the temporary but slight decline in mortgage rates.”
NAR President Steve Brown said housing fundamentals are showing slight improvement in markets across the country. “Many potential buyers were left on the sidelines beginning last summer as affordability declined amidst rising home prices and interest rates,” he said. “The temporary pause in rising interest rates and more homes for sale is good news – especially for first-time home buyers – who likely have a better chance in upcoming months to make a competitive offer that’s in return accepted by the seller.”
Black Knight Financial Services (formerly known as Lender Processing Services) April 2014 home price index up 0.9% for the Month; Up 6.4% Year-over-Year.
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. There is some evidence in various home price indices that home prices are beginning to stabilize – the evidence is also in this post. Please see the post Economic Headwinds from Real Estate Moderate.
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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|Housing Sales and Prices||Housing Sales and Prices|