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Economy in Brief

U.S. Case-Shiller Home Price Index Extends Decline
by Carol Stone December 28, 2011

House prices remain weak. The seasonally adjusted Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index dropped 0.6% during October following a slightly revised 0.7% decrease in September. Among the 20 cities, only four, Charlotte, Denver, Tampa and Washington, saw prices increase on the month.For the year-to-year comparison, the total is off 3.4%, with all but Washington and Detroit sharing in the decline. The index level for October is 138.56 (Jan 2000 = 100); the peak was 206.66 in April 2006, and the last time the index was at the current level was March 2003.Not seasonally adjusted prices were off 1.2% in October, marking the conclusion of the summer sales season. The narrower 10 City Composite Home Price Index was off 0.5% seasonally adjusted, and down 3.0% from the year ago.

While price declines are spread throughout the U.S., most cities are at least seeing lesser declines in the most recent 12-month comparisons. The main areas still experiencing worsening price situations include Atlanta, down 11.7% from October 2010, Las Vegas, -8.5%, and Minneapolis, - 8.4%, all of which not only had large declines but larger than in the month before. Among the other cities, there seemed to be no clear pattern, as cities experienced declines ranging from 1.0% in Denver to 6.1% in Tampa and 6.2% in Seattle; the 12-month gain in Washington was 1.3% and that in Detroit, 2.5%.All of this, of course, marks a disappointing weakening after the improvement in 2010, when the 20-city price index was actually up 1.3% for the year as a whole and the 10-city index 2.1%.

The Case-Shiller home price series is value-weighted, i.e., a greater index weight is assigned to more expensive homes.It is calculated using the "repeat sales method", where the item measured is the price change for a specific house compared to the price for that same house the last time it sold.In October, the national 20-city index covered 74,835 so-called "sale pairs". The nation-wide S&P/Case-Shiller home price indexes and sale pair counts can be found in Haver's USECON database, and the city data highlighted below are in the REGIONAL database.

S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index (SA, %) Oct Sep Aug Oct
Y/Y
2010 2009 2008
20 City Composite Index -0.6 -0.7 -0.4 -3.4% 1.3 -13.3 -15.7
Regional Indicators
Atlanta -4.1 -4.8 -2.9 -11.7 -2.4 -11.6 -8.5
Boston -0.3 -0.2 -0.4 -1.0 1.9 -4.9 -5.7
Chicago -1.2 -1.4 0.8 -4.9 -3.7 -14.2 -10.0
Charlotte 0.2 0.3 -0.1 -1.2 -3.4 -8.2 -1.9
Cleveland -0.2 0.1 -0.3 -2.1 0.7 -4.8 -7.3
Dallas -0.1 0.3 0.2 -2.0 0.1 -2.3 -3.2
Denver 0.5 -0.0 -0.3 -1.0 0.9 -2.8 -4.9
Detroit -2.1 -0.5 -0.0 2.5 -3.4 -21.3 -17.9
Las Vegas -1.9 -1.7 -1.0 -8.5 -7.7 -29.8 -28.1
Los Angeles -1.0 -1.0 -0.8 -4.9 5.3 -15.4 -24.2
Miami -1.0 -0.5 -0.9 -4.1 -2.1 -22.0 -26.5
Minneapolis -2.0 -1.1 -0.8 -8.4 3.2 -15.7 -14.3
New York -0.7 0.1 -0.6 -2.0 -1.5 -9.8 -7.4
Phoenix -0.0 -0.3 -0.6 -5.1 -0.3 -28.0 -27.5
Portland -0.2 0.5 -0.1 -4.7 -3.2 -12.8 -6.6
San Diego -0.0 -0.4 -0.4 -4.5 7.3 -13.3 -23.3
San Francisco -0.3 -0.8 -0.7 -4.7 9.3 -18.4 -24.3
Seattle -1.0 -0.8 -0.6 -6.2 -3.6 -14.3 -7.3
Tampa 0.2 -1.7 -0.3 -6.1 -4.0 -18.8 -19.2
Washington, D.C. 0.3 1.0 0.4 1.3 4.7 -10.8 -15.7
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