September 28, 2011 (Chris Moore)
July’s home prices continued to follow normal seasonal trends with prices for both the 10- and 20-City Composites increasing by 0.9 percent from June to July, the fourth consecutive month of increases according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.
Seventeen of the 20 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) posted monthly price increases while only two of the MSAs posted yearly increases.
“With July’s data we are seeing not only anticipated monthly increases, but some fairly broad improvement in the annual rates of change in home prices,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. “This is still a seasonal period of stronger demand for houses, so monthly price increases are expected and were seen in 17 of the 20 cities.”
The only three MSAs that didn’t post a monthly increase in July were Las Vegas, which was down 0.2 percent, Phoenix which posted a decline of 0.1 percent and Denver which remained unchanged from the previous month.
The only two MSAs that posted a yearly increase were Detroit, which posted a gain of 1.2 percent, and Washington, where prices were 0.3 percent higher.
Fourteen of the 20 MSAs posted improved yearly rates of change with Minneapolis continuing to be the worse performing market with a price decline of 9.1 percent, but still an improvement after three consecutive months of double-digit declines.
Average home prices across the United States have fallen back to the levels where they were in the summer of 2003. From their peak in June/July 2006, prices for the 10-City Composite have declined 31.0 percent, while prices for the 20 City Composite have fallen 30.9 percent.
“While we have now seen four consecutive months of generally increasing prices, we do know that we are still far from a sustained recovery,” Blitzer added. “Other recent housing statistics show that single-family housing starts were down slightly in August, and are about 2% below their year ago level; and these levels are at 30-year lows. Existing-home sales, however, were up in August and are about 20% above their August 2010 level. The S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default indices showed a continuing decline in mortgage default rates, a two-year trend. However, if you look at the state of the overall economy and, in particular, the recent large decline in consumer confidence, these combined statistics continue to indicate that the housing market is still bottoming and has not turned around.”
Tags: S&P, Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, 10-City Composite, 20-City Composite, home prices, positive gains, seasonal trends