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S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices Show Most Markets Improved
Data through April 2010, released today by Standard & Poor’s for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, show that annual growth rates of all 20 MSAs and the 10- and 20-City Composites improved in April compared to March 2010. The 10-City Composite is up 4.6% from where it was in April 2009, and the 20-City Composite is up 3.8% versus the same time last year. In addition, 18 of the 20 MSAs and both Composites saw improvement in prices as measured by April versus March monthly changes.
The annual returns of the 10-City and 20-City Composite Home Price Indices show an increase of 4.6% and 3.8%, respectively, in April 2010 compared to the same month last year. Of note, Dallas, Denver, San Diego and San Francisco have all posted six consecutive months of positive annual rates of return, recording +3.3%, +4.4%, +11.7% and +18.0% in April, respectively.
Home price levels remain close to the April 2009 lows set by the S&P/Case Shiller 10- and 20-City Composite series. The April 2010 data for all 20 MSAs and the two Composites do show some improvement with higher annual increases than in March’s report. However, many of the gains are modest and somewhat concentrated in California. Moreover, nine of the 20 cities reached new lows at some time since the beginning of this year. The month-over-month figures were driven by the end of the Federal first-time home buyer tax credit program on April 30th. Eighteen cities saw month-to-month gains in April compared to six in the previous month. Miami and New York were the two that fared the worst in April compared to March. New York is the only MSA to have posted a new relative index low with April’s report.
Other housing data confirm the large impact, and likely near-future pullback, of the federal program. Recently released data for May 2010 show sharp declines in existing and new home sales and housing starts. Inventory data and foreclosure activity have not shown any signs of improvement. Consistent and sustained boosts to economic growth from housing may have to wait to next year.
As of April 2010, average home prices across the United States are at similar levels to where they were in late summer/early autumn of 2003. From their peak in June/July of 2006 through the trough in April 2009, the 10-City Composite is down 33.5% and the 20-City Composite is down 32.6%. The peak-to-date figures through April 2010 are -30.5% and -30.0%, respectively.
New York posted a new index low in April, as measured by the current housing cycle, where it peaked in June 2006. The peak-to-trough figure is -21.7%. Eighteen MSAs and both Composites showed month-over-month improvements in April. The 10- and 20-City Composites were up 0.7% and 0.8%, respectively. Eleven of the MSAs reported monthly increases of at least 1.0%. Miami and New York were down 0.8% and 0.3%, respectively. San Diego has now shown 12 consecutive months of positive returns. It is the only market that did not contract in the late winter months.
Posted: June 29, 2010 Tuesday 09:00 AM