Case-Shiller Home Prices Advance in June 2010 – Negative Future Forecast

Case-Shiller home price data for June 2010 showed that the U.S. National Home Price Index rose 4.4% in the second quarter of 2010, after having fallen 2.8% in the first quarter. Nationally, home prices are 3.6% above their year-earlier levels.   The press release stated in part:

Housing prices have rebounded from crisis lows, but other recent housing indicators point to more ominous signals as tax incentives have ended and foreclosures continue.

The monthly Composites cover June and the national index covers the second quarter, when the government’s program for first time home-buyers was winding down. While the numbers are upbeat, other more recent data on home sales and mortgages point to fewer gains ahead,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s. “Even with concerns about near term developments, we recognize that the housing market is in better shape than this time last year. Further, California’s cities have moved from some of the hardest hit to three of the four leading cities based on year-over-year gains. Among the other hard hit cities, the news is also a bit encouraging – Las Vegas, however, remains among the weaker cities.

Seventeen of the 20 MSAs [metropolitan statistical areas] and both Composites saw home prices increase in June over May – Las Vegas was down 0.6%, Phoenix and Seattle were both flat. Through the second quarter, 15 of the 20 MSAs and both Composites have positive annual growth rates, and no market is registering a double digit decline. The worry starts when you remember that the Homebuyers’ Tax Credit has expired, foreclosures are still at high levels, and July data on home sales and starts were very, very weak. The inventory of unsold homes and months’ supply data were particularly troubling. If this relative weakness in demand continues, it will likely filter through to home prices in coming months.”

Case-Shiller is comparing favorably with the National Association of Realtor’s (NAR) existing home sales data.

A longer term view of the Case-Shiller Indexes.

We need to recognize that home price trends are not the same across the various metropolitan areas.

Econintersect forecasts continued improvement in the Case Shiller index for the next several months due to the averaging methodology of the index. In 4Q2010, the index should begin to decline as pending home sales are indicating a weakening market..