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Economy in Brief

Case-Shiller Home Price Index Ticks Higher
by Tom Moeller July 27, 2010

Modest improvement in home prices again was apparent during May. Too much should not be made of it, however, since "improvement" means stability after earlier declines. Seasonally adjusted, the Case-Shiller Home Price Index inched up another 0.5% from April, roughly the same as during the prior month. Even though prices probably were boosted by the now-expired $8,000 home-buyer Federal tax credit, prices have moved up just 1.1% since December; 4.6% since the low in May '09. The narrower 10 City Composite Home Price Index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.5% (5.4% y/y),  repeating April's increase.

The performance of home prices continued to vary around the country. During May the 12-month gain in prices was strongest in the West. In San Francisco prices rose 18.4% y/y, in San Diego by 12.5% and by 11.7% in Minneapolis. Prices were up less in Los Angeles (9.8%), Washington D.C. (7.5%), and Phoenix (7.2%). Prices also rose in Boston (4.9%), Denver (3.6%), Dallas (2.9%), Atlanta (1.7%) and Portland (0.7%). Widespread, though reduced, price declines continued in Charlotte (-2.9%), Detroit (-2.5%), Seattle (-1.4%) and New York (-0.4%).

The Case-Shiller home price series are value-weighted, i.e., a greater index weight is assigned to more expensive homes. 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.

S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index (SA) May m/m April m/m March m/m May y/y 2009 2008 2007
20 City Composite Index 0.5% 0.6% -0.2% 4.6% -13.3% -15.7% -3.8%
Regional Indicators
    Atlanta 1.1 1.1 -1.5 1.7 -11.6 -8.5 0.7
    Boston 0.3 0.6 0.4 4.9 -4.9 -5.7 -4.0
    Chicago 0.3 0.9 -2.2 -1.4 -14.2 -10.0 -1.0
    Dallas 0.3 0.7 0.2 2.9 -2.3 -3.3 0.5
    Denver -0.4 0.6 1.1 3.6 -2.8 -4.9 -1.7
    Los Angeles 0.8 0.7 -0.3 9.8 -15.4 -24.2 -5.2
    New York 0.6 0.0 -0.2 -0.4 -9.8 -7.4 -2.8
    San Francisco 0.7 1.5 1.4 18.4 -18.4 -24.3 -4.5
    Tampa 0.3 0.3 0.5 -1.4 -18.8 -19.2 -7.6
 
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