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Economy in Brief

Case-Shiller Home Price Index Increases For Third Consecutive Month
by Tom Moeller October 27, 2009

Home prices have firmed along with the improvement seen in home sales. The August S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Composite Index of twenty metro-markets rose 1.0% from July following like gains during the prior two months. The monthly increase lowered the y/y drop to 11.4% which was less-than-expected by Consensus. Nevertheless, prices were down by nearly one-third since the peak in May 2006. Not seasonally adjusted prices were even stronger m/m and posted a 1.2% increase after a 1.6% gain during July.

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 1.0% (-10.7% y/y). This measure also was down by nearly one-third since the 2006 peak.

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. The latest press release is available here . An overview of the S&P/Case-Shiller home price series can be found here.

Less Weak Regions:Home prices in some areas of the country have firmed lately though they remain down year-to-year. Prices in Denver rose for their sixth month (-2.0% y/y) while in Dallas prices rose for the fifth consecutive month. That pared the y/y change to -1.3% from its worst of -5.5% this past March. Boston prices also were higher during August (-4.2% y/y) while in Chicago home prices were quite strong m/m, rising 1.2%, but they still were off 12.7% y/y. In the New York region prices ticked up 0.3% m/m (-9.6% y/y) while in Charlotte, North Carolina prices slipped 0.4% (-8.6% y/y). In Cleveland, Ohio, though prices fell 1.0% m/m during August, the y/y decline amounted to just 2.9%. In the Washington, D.C. metro area prices rose for the fourth straight month. The 1.2% increase left them off 7.9% y/y.

Weakest Regions: Several other areas of the country have shown limited improvement. Though home prices in Phoenix, Arizona rose for the third consecutive month they remained off 25.2% y/y. Home prices in Las Vegas, Nevada continued their rapid rate of decline with a 0.8% m/m drop (-29.9% y/y) and were down by roughly one-half from their peak. Home prices in Miami also rose for the third straight month but were off 18.9% y/y while home prices in Los Angeles also firmed m/m (-12.0% y/y). In Tampa, Florida prices also rose for the third month but remained off 17.7% y/y. In Detroit prices rose for the first time since early 2006 (-22.7% y/y) yet prices were off by nearly one-half from the peak.In San Francisco prices firmed for the fourth straight month and that eased the y/y decline to 12.6%.

The monthly S&P Case Shiller Home Price data can be found in Haver's USECON database and the regional data is available in the REGIONAL database.

S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index (SA, Jan 00 = 100) August m/m July m/m Y/Y 2008 2007 2006
20 City Composite Index 1.0% 1.2% -11.4% -15.8% -3.8% 7.6%
  Regional Indicators
     Atlanta 0.5 1.6 -10.6 -8.5 0.7 4.3
     Boston 1.0 0.6 -4.2 -5.7 -4.0 -1.8
     Chicago 1.2 2.1 -12.7 -10.0 -1.0 6.6
     Dallas 0.0 0.8 -1.3 -3.3 0.5 3.2
     Denver 1.0 0.7 -2.0 -4.9 -1.7 2.1
     Los Angeles 1.3 1.2 -12.0 -24.2 -5.2 11.6
     New York 0.3 0.9 -9.6 -7.4 -2.8 7.5
     San Francisco 2.6 2.8 -12.6 -24.3 -4.5 4.5
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