Case-Shiller: Prices off from quarter, up from year

Case-Shiller’s National Home Price Index fell 3.2% in the first quarter of 2010 while remaining above its year-earlier level.

In March, 13 of the 20 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) covered by the indices and both monthly composites were down, yet the two composites and 10 MSAs showed year-over-year gains.

Housing prices rebounded from crisis lows but recently have seen renewed weakness as tax incentives are ending and foreclosures are climbing, the company said.  Continue reading

Case-Shiller sees improvement, expresses concern

Data through January in the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices show that the annual rates of decline of the 10-City and 20-City Composites improved in comparison with December.

The gauges, which omit apartment sales and include whole metropolitan regions, actually had the 10-City Composite unchanged from a year ago and the 20-City Composite down only 0.7 percent versus January 2009.

Annual rates for the two Composites have not been so close to a positive print for three years.  Commented Standard & Poor’s David M. Blitzer: Continue reading

On 1 hand and the other, Case-Shiller says again

Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Indices – which exclude apartment sales and include whole Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) – show that U.S. prices fell in the fourth quarter.  But the annual rate of return improved as compared with the third quarter.

“As measured by prices, the housing market is definitely in better shape than it was this time last year,” said David M. Blitzer, S&P’s chairman of the Index Committee.  “However, the rate of improvement seen during the summer of 2009 has not been sustained.

The chart above depicts the annual returns of the U.S. National, the 10-City Composite and the 20-CityComposite Home Price Indices. Continue reading

New Yorkers can ignore latest housing statistics

Case-Shiller Home Price Levels. Click to expand and see other graphics.

In fact, New Yorkers and residents of other dense urban centers always can pay little heed to the monthly report of housing data from Case-Shiller or any other single sources of information.

Their one virtue is to examine a dated snapshot of the national housing market, excluding areas such as the Big Apple, where few single-home sales occur.  Case-Shiller leaves out apartment sales and its reports embrace whole Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). In addition, the sample of 10 or 20 cities is suspect in my layman’s eyes.

Manhattan by gemini spy on Flickr.

In the case of Manhattan, the MSA covers all the boroughs plus suburban New Jersey and Westchester County. And as everyone knows, the percentage of single-family home sales in the borough never reaches beyond the lowest digits.

I suppose investors and others who might be looking, unreasonably, at the national market for trends in the biggest cities can benefit from glancing at the numbers. But using those statistics for anything greater than a very rough gauge of what is or, worse, will be occurring in a given market is pure folly.

All that said, you may well be able to enliven your cocktail chatter by knowing Continue reading

Index shows upward price trend continuing, fading

Data through October 2009 released today in the S&P/Case-Shiller1 Home Price Indices, which omit apartment sales, record improvement in the annual rate of decline of the 10-City and 20-City Composites compared with September’s reading. It was approximately the ninth month of better readings in the statistics, beginning in early 2009.

As of October 2009, average home prices across the U.S. were similar to the autumn of 2003. From the peak in Q2 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%. With the relative improvement of the past few months, the peak-to-date figures through October 2009 are -29.8% and -29.0%, respectively.

The 10-City and 20-City Composite Home Price Indices declined Continue reading

Selected home prices declined 8.9% in 3rd quarter

If even one of the sales and price reports that are released were accurate, the world would be a better place.  The best that can be said about them, whether from the federal government or the National Association of Realtors, is they might possibly be useful in perceiving trends.

Case-Shiller has problems for anyone living in the heart of a city.  Its reports cover whole metropolitan regions; for example, the New York figures cover Manhattan, Queens, Westchester and suburban New Jersey, which couldn’t be more disparate.  Moreover, the indices unapologetically ignore the sale of apartments.


Yesterday, the S&P/Case-Shiller National Home Price Index posted an 8.9 percent decline in the third quarter versus the third quarter last year.  It was, the company said, a “marked improvement” over the 14.7 percent decline in the annual rate of return in the second quarter of 2009 and the 19.0 percent drop in the first quarter.

But the New York Times noted today that the housing recovery’s momentum was slowing.

Continue reading

Case-Shiller sees rate of price decline still slowing

Case-Shiller home price index by U.S. citiesThe Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, which (I never tire of saying) omit apartments, show that the annual rate of decline of the 10-City and 20-City Composites improved in August compared with July.

August was approximately the seventh month of improved readings, beginning in early 2009. Continue reading