Thursday, May 05, 2011

Clear Capital Home Price Index shows Double Dip

by Bill McBride on 5/05/2011 09:41:00 AM

This is one of several house prices indexes I follow in addition to Case-Shiller and CoreLogic. This is especially interesting this month for two reasons: 1) the index is showing a double dip in house prices, and 2) the graph showing house prices and REO saturation.

From Clear Capital: Clear Capital® Reports National Double Dip

Clear Capital (www.clearcapital.com) today released its monthly Home Data Index™ (HDI) Market Report, and reports prices have double dipped nationally 0.7 percent below prior lows experienced in March 2009.
...
“The latest data through April shows a continued increase in the proportion of distressed sales that are taking hold in markets nationwide,” said Dr. Alex Villacorta, director of research and analytics at Clear Capital. “With more than one-third of national home sales being REO, market prices are being weighed down ..."
Weekly Unemployment Claims Click on graph for larger image in new window.

These graphs from Clear Capital show their home price index and the percent REO saturation.

We know that a higher percentage of distress sales put downward pressure on house prices, and these graphs make that relationship pretty clear.

Note: REO saturation usually peaks early in the year - so some of the recent increase is seasonal.

From Clear Capital:
This comparison leads to concern over home price declines through the rest of 2011. The trends of 2008 were quickly reversed with the introduction of stimulus measures. However, home prices today are already down nearly 25 percent since the 2008 period, creating increasing home affordability, in addition to gradually improving employment measures. Unlike the 2008 period where the downward trend ended in the winter, we're now heading into the home buying seasons of spring and summer. Regardless, the housing market still faces many challenges that will only be solved through increased buying activity or a reduction in the distressed segment―neither of which is assured in 2011.