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Economy in Brief

U.S. Case-Shiller Home Price Index Shows Further Firming
by Carol Stone  December 26, 2012

Housing market conditions continue to improve, as home prices firmed further in October, according to the seasonally adjusted Case-Shiller 20 City Home Price Index. This measure rose 0.7% in the month following 0.4% in September; the year-on-year increase accelerated to 4.3% from 3.0% in September. The narrower 10 City Composite Home Price Index increased 0.6% (3.4% y/y), continuing its uptrend to a ninth month. Press reports highlight the not seasonally adjusted index, which fell 0.1% in October; house prices generally fall in the autumn and this modest decrease was less than Consensus expectations for a 0.2% decline.

The price improvement also continued across the country, with month-to-month seasonally adjusted increases the same or stronger in October in Charlotte, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, Portland, San Francisco, Tampa and Washington. Prices declined on the month only in Boston, Chicago and New York. The only locales with prices down from a year earlier were Chicago and New York, although these were smaller decreases than in September. Only Boston and Tampa saw weakening of their year-to-year performance from September, and even these showed only modestly smaller gains.

The Case-Shiller home price series is value-weighted, i.e., a greater index weight is assigned to more expensive homes. It is a three-month moving average and 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. The weighting scheme also encompasses a factor for the length of time between these repeat sales to account for remodeling or other quality changes. The nation-wide S&P/Case-Shiller home price indexes can be found in Haver's USECON database, and the city data highlighted below are in the REGIONAL database. Consensus forecasts of the not-seasonally-adjusted index are from the Action Economics survey and included in Haver’s AS1REPNA database.

S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index (SA, %)
Oct Sep Aug Oct Y/Y 2011 2010 2009
20 City Composite Index 0.7 0.4 0.4 4.3% -3.9 1.2 -13.3
Atlanta 1.4 1.7 1.7 5.0 -7.0 -2.4 -11.6
Boston -0.3 0.1 0.4 1.6 -2.0 1.9 -4.9
Charlotte 0.3 0.3 0.4 4.1 -3.7 -3.4 -8.2
Chicago -0.7 -1.2 -0.1 -1.3 -6.8 -3.7 -14.2
Cleveland 0.3 0.6 0.4 1.8 -4.3 0.7 -4.8
Dallas 0.9 0.9 0.2 4.6 -2.4 0.1 -2.3
Denver 0.5 1.0 0.2 6.9 -2.1 0.9 -2.8
Detroit 1.2 0.4 0.5 10.0 0.0 -3.4 -21.3
Las Vegas 2.4 1.2 0.8 8.4 -6.5 -7.7 -29.8
Los Angeles 1.2 0.9 1.0 6.3 -3.4 5.3 -15.4
Miami 0.4 0.3 0.4 8.5 -4.9 -2.1 -22.0
Minneapolis 0.3 0.8 0.3 9.2 1.0 3.2 -15.7
New York -0.2 0.2 0.0 -1.2 -3.1 -1.5 -9.8
Phoenix 1.3 1.3 1.4 21.8 -7.3 -0.3 -28.0
Portland 0.9 0.7 0.4 5.1 -7.2 -3.2 12.8
San Diego 1.7 1.8 0.6 6.0 -4.4 7.3 -13.3
San Francisco 1.1 1.1 0.1 8.9 -4.9 9.3 -18.4
Seattle 0.2 0.5 -0.2 5.7 -6.6 -3.6 -14.3
Tampa 0.1 -0.1 0.2 5.8 -6.6 -4.0 -18.8
Washington, D.C. 0.4 0.0 -0.1 4.4 -0.4 4.7 -10.8
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