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Economy in Brief

Case-Shiller Home Price Index Posts Largest Monthly Increase Since 2005
by Tom Moeller September 29, 2009

Firmer readings on home sales have given a lift to home prices. During July the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Composite Index of twenty metro-markets rose 1.2% from June and that was the firmest gain since late-2005. The monthly increase eased the y/y drop to 13.3%, less than expected. Still, prices were down by nearly one-third since the peak in May 2006. The July gain left prices down less y/y than the expected 14.2%. Not seasonally adjusted prices were even stronger m/m and posted a 1.6% increase after a 1.4% June gain.

The Case-Shiller index of 20 U.S. cities and their surrounding areas is value-weighted. A greater index weight is assigned to more expensive homes and the series dates back only to 2001. The S&P/Case-Shiller home price series can be found in Haver's USECON database and the city data highlighted below is in the REGIONAL database. Here is a link to the latest press release. An overview of the S&P/Case-Shiller home price series can be found here.ยท The Case-Shiller composite index of home prices in 10 metropolitan areas, which has a longer history and dates back to 1987, also firmed last month by 1.3% (-12.8% y/y). This measure also was down by nearly one-third since the 2006 peak.

Less Weak Regions:  Home prices in some areas of the country have firmed lately though they remain down year-to-year.  In Cleveland, Ohio (-1.4% y/y) and in Dallas (-1.6% y/y) prices rose for the fourth consecutive month. Prices in Denver rose for their fifth month (-3.0% y/y). Boston prices also were higher during the July (-5.0% y/y) while in Chicago home prices were quite strong m/m and rose 2.1% (-14.2% y/y). In New York prices ticked up 0.9% m/m (-10.4% y/y) while in Charlotte, North Carolina prices were roughly unchanged (-9.0% y/y.)

Weakest Regions: Though home prices in Phoenix, Arizona rose 1.2% m/m they remained off 28.5% y/y. Home prices in Las Vegas, Nevada continued their rapid rate of decline with a 1.9% m/m drop (-31.4% y/y) and also were down by roughly one-half from their peak. Home prices in Miami edged up (-21.2% y/y while home prices in Los Angeles also firmed (-14.9% y/y). In Tampa, ticked higher for the second month but remained off 18.5% y/y. In Detroit, the monthly rate of price decline also eased considerably (-24.7% y/y) but prices were off by early one-half from the peak. In San Francisco prices firmed for the second straight month and that eased the y/y decline to 17.9%.

The Credit Crisis and Cycle-Proof Regulation from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis can be found here. 

S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index (SA, Jan 00 = 100) July June Y/Y 2008 2007 2006
20 City Composite Index 143.05 141.42 -13.3% -15.8% -3.8% 7.6%
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