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Economy in Brief

U.S. Case-Shiller Home Price Index Continues Downward
by Tom Moeller  December 28, 2010

Today's report that home prices drifted down again confirms other reports of weakness in the housing sector including depressed levels of sales, starts and overall construction activity. During October, the seasonally adjusted Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index fell 1.0% after a like September drop, that was deeper than reported initially. It was the fourth consecutive month of decline and the index level was down 0.8% from last October. The narrower 10 City Composite Home Price Index of prices declined 0.9% during October, also down for the fourth month. The y/y gain of 0.2% was down from its 5.5% peak this past May.

The performance of home prices continued to vary around the country. During October, the 12-month gain in prices remained the strongest in the West. In Los Angeles prices rose 3.3%, in San Diego by 3.0% y/y, and in San Francisco by 2.2%. These gains follow earlier sharp declines. Also, prices rose 3.6% in Washington D.C. following double-digit declines during from 2008 and 2009. Elsewhere, prices remained depressed. Prices fell 6.5% in Chicago, 6.2% in Atlanta, 5.5% in Detroit, 5.2% in Portland and by 4.2% in Charlotte. Lesser declines were logged in Minneapolis where prices fell 2.9%, in New York (-1.7%) and Denver (-1.8%).

During the last four years home prices have fallen 29.5% overall led by declines of 57.0% in Las Vegas, 53.1% in Phoenix, 42.3% in Tampa and 35.9% in San Francisco. Prices fell a lesser 23.8% in Washington, D.C., 20.2% in New York, 12.2% in Boston, 9.0% in Denver and 7.1% in Dallas.

The Case-Shiller home price series is 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)
Oct Sept Aug Oct Y/Y 2009 2008 2007
20 City Composite Index -1.0% -1.0% -0.7% -0.8% -13.3% -15.7% -3.8%
 Regional Indicators
  Atlanta -2.1 -2.0 -1.9 -6.2 -11.6 -8.5 0.7
  Boston -0.7 -1.0 -0.7 -0.2 -4.9 -5.7 -4.0
  Chicago -1.8 -1.7 -0.5 -6.5 -14.2 -10.0 -1.0
  Charlotte -0.4 -0.5 -0.5 -4.2 -8.2 -1.9 5.7
  Dallas -0.6 -1.1 -1.4 -3.1 -2.3 -3.3 0.5
  Denver 0.3 -0.7 -0.7 -1.8 -2.8 -4.9 -1.7
  Los Angeles -0.4 -0.5 -0.9 3.3 -15.4 -24.2 -5.2
  Miami -1.2 -1.1 -0.9 -3.4 -22.0 -26.6 -5.9
  Minneapolis -1.8 -2.5 -1.3 -2.9 -15.7 -14.3 -3.7
  New York -1.5 -0.5 -0.5 -1.7 -9.8 -7.4 -2.8
  San Francisco -1.3 -0.8 -0.9 2.2 -18.4 -24.3 -4.5
  Tampa -0.2 -1.3 -0.6 -3.6 -18.8 -19.2 -7.6
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