Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Case-Shiller House Prices "Weakening"

by Bill McBride on 5/25/2010 09:00:00 AM

IMPORTANT: These graphs are Seasonally Adjusted (SA). S&P has cautioned that the seasonal adjustment is probably being distorted by irregular factors. These distortions could include distressed sales and the various government programs.

S&P/Case-Shiller released the monthly Home Price Indices for March (actually a 3 month average), and the Q1 2010 National Index.

The monthly data includes prices for 20 individual cities, and two composite indices (10 cities and 20 cities).

From S&P: The First Quarter of 2010 Indicates Some Weakening in Home Prices

Data through March 2009, released today by Standard & Poor’s for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices ... show that the U.S. National Home Price Index fell 3.2% in the first quarter of 2010, but remains above its year-earlier level. In March, 13 of the 20 MSAs covered by S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices and both monthly composites were down although the two composites and 10 MSAs showed year-over-year gains.

Housing prices rebounded from crisis lows, but recently have seen renewed weakness as tax incentives are ending and foreclosures are climbing.
Case-Shiller House Prices Indices Click on graph for larger image in new window.

The first graph shows the nominal not seasonally adjusted Composite 10 and Composite 20 indices (the Composite 20 was started in January 2000).

The Composite 10 index is off 29.8% from the peak, and up slightly in March (SA).

The Composite 20 index is off 29.3% from the peak, and down slightly in March (SA).

Case-Shiller House Prices Indices The second graph shows the Year over year change in both indices.

The Composite 10 is up 3.2% compared to March 2009.

The Composite 20 is up 2.4% compared to March 2009.

This is the second month with YoY price increases in a row.

The third graph shows the price declines from the peak for each city included in S&P/Case-Shiller indices.

Case-Shiller Price Declines Prices decreased (SA) in 11 of the 20 Case-Shiller cities in March (SA).

Prices in Las Vegas are off 56% from the peak, and prices in Dallas only off 5.8% from the peak.

Case Shiller is reporting on the NSA data (13 cities down), and I'm using the SA data. I'm not sure why Case-Shiller is saying prices are weakening because the tax incentive is ending. This is Q1 and March 2010 data - and the tax incentive pulled forward demand and probably supported prices. Just wait until later this year ...