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Economy in Brief

Case-Shiller Home Price Index Declined Again
by Tom Moeller May 27, 2008

The S&P/Case-Shiller Composite 20 home price index fell 2.2% m/m in March, continuing a decline of about that magnitude during each of the prior four months. This index of U.S. home prices has fallen in every month since its peak in July of 2006 and the decline totals 16.6% during that period. The series dates back only to 2000.

For the first quarter overall, home prices fell 6.7% and that was the largest decline since the series peak in 2Q06. Year to year, 1Q prices were down 14.1%.

The Case-Shiller index of 20 U.S. cities and their surrounding areas is not adjusted for the quality or the size of a home. The home price index from the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), released last week, does make these adjustments. This series indicates that during 1Q08 house prices were roughly unchanged y/y but the purchase-only price index fell 3.1% y/y.

The Case-Shiller composite index of homes in 10 metropolitan areas has a longer history and dates back to 1987. This measure of prices fell 2.4% in March and was down 15.3% year-to-year.

Home prices in Las Vegas Nevada remained quite weak and were down 25.9% y/y. Prices in Miami were off 24.6% and home prices in Los Angeles were off 21.7%. In San Diego prices fell 20.5% but they were off a lesser 7.4% in New York and by 5.9% in Boston.

In Dallas prices also were off just moderately, 3.3% and they were up 0.8% in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The latest press release from Standard & Poor's can be found here. An overview of the S&P/Case-Shiller home price series can be found here.

The S&P/Case-Shiller home price series can be found in Haver's USECON database but the city data is in the REGIONAL database.

S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index (NSA, Jan 00 = 100) March February Y/Y 2007 2006 2005
20 City Composite Index 172.16 176.00 -14.4% -3.8% 7.6% 15.8%
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