Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The S&P Case-Shiller Existing Home Price Index is Down 2.8% from Last Year

The Case Shiller Existing Home Price Index is down 2.8% on a YOY basis for May as reported by Market Watch. I am not sure how the index works, but I continue to ask the same question about those cities where prices are up. Is this due to actual increases in the price of homes or is it because the low-end homes are not selling, thereby increasing the average price of homes sold?

Also if you would like another take on the housing market the video of the interview of James Cramer at HousingDoom.com via Calculated Risk is interesting and entertaining in a James Cramer kind of way.

Home prices in 15 of 20 major U.S. cities were lower in May compared with the previous May, Standard & Poor's reported Tuesday.

The Case-Shiller 20-city index fell 2.8% compared with a year earlier, S&P said. That's the biggest decline in the seven-year history of the index.

In 10 major cities, prices were off 3.4% from the previous year, the largest decline since 1991.
"At a national level, declines in annual home price returns are showing no signs of a slowdown or turnaround," said Robert J. Shiller, chief economist at MacroMarkets LLC., and the co-inventor of the price index.

A year ago, prices were rising at close to a 10% pace.

Prices fell furthest in the Detroit metro area, off 11.1%. Seattle had the best gains, up 9.1%. The other cities with price gains were Charlotte, N.C., (up 7%), Portland, Ore., (up 5.7%), Dallas (up 1.8%) and Atlanta (up 1.7%).

Chicago became the latest casualty of the housing bust, with prices now down 0.6% in the past year.
On a month-to-month basis, prices rose in eight of the 20 cities, compared with only one city gaining earlier this year, Shiller said. "We need a few more months of data, however, to determine if this is the beginning of a national turnaround, since the national trend is still at a sharp deceleration." Home prices have been decelerating for 18 months.

New England markets, which were among the first to fall, could be bottoming. Boston has seen prices rise 1.4% in the past two months, but prices are still down 4.3% in the past year.
Cities with falling prices:

Detroit, down 11.1: San Diego, down 7%; Tampa, Fla., down 6.7%; Washington, down 6.3%; Phoenix, down 5.5%; Boston, down 4.3%; Las Vegas, Nev., down 4.1%; Minneapolis, down 3.5%; San Francisco, down 3.4%; Miami, down 3.3%; Los Angeles, down 3.3%; Cleveland, down 2.8%; New York, down 2.3%; Denver, down 1.4%; and Chicago, down 0.6%.

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