Case-Shiller Indices Show Fastest Gain in 6 Years

Mark Lieberman, Five Star Economist 2/26/13 – Home prices rose at their fastest pace since July 2006, according to Standard and Poor’s Case-Shiller 10- and 20-city Home Price Indices. At the same time, the Case-Shiller national index, reported quarterly, registered its strongest gain since Q2 2006.

The 10- and 20-city indices each rose 0.2 percent in December, reversing declines in November. Year-over-year, the 10-city index was up 5.9 percent, and the 20-city index rose 6.8 percent. The national index was up 7.3 percent year-over-year.

The yearly gain in the 20-city index matched the consensus forecast.

The gain in the overall 20-city index was tempered by drops in prices in 11 cities with no distinct pattern. Prices fell month-over-month in four Midwest cities (Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, and Minneapolis), three cities in the West (Denver, Portland, and Seattle) and two cities in each of the South (Charlotte and Dallas) and the Northeast (New York and Washington, D.C.).

Prices rose in 19 of the 20 cities on a year-over-year basis, falling only in New York.

The month-over-month price gains were led by Las Vegas (up 1.8 percent), Los Angeles (up 1.1 percent), Phoenix (up 0.9 percent), Miami (up 0.8 percent), and San Francisco (up 0.7 percent). Of the nine cities that registered price gains, five were in the West, three were in the South, and one was in the Northeast.

The monthly price declines were led by Chicago (-0.7 percent), followed by Detroit (-0.6 percent), and Portland and Seattle (-0.5 percent each).

Year-over-year, prices registered double-digit percentage improvements in Phoenix (23.0 percent), San Francisco (14.4 percent), Detroit (13.6 percent), Las Vegas (12.9 percent), and Minneapolis (12.2 percent).

The annual price drop in New York City was 0.5 percent.

Year-over-year price improvements in Phoenix have been over 20 percent for four straight months, but prices there are still down 44.9 percent from their June 2006 peak.

Indeed, prices in every city in survey remain below their historic highs, led by Las Vegas, where prices are off 56.4 percent from their August 2006 high.

At 158.49, the 10-city index is down 30.0 percent from its June 2006 high of 226.29, and the 20-city index—at 145.95—is off 29.3 percent from its July 2006 peak of 206.52.

The quarterly index fell in the fourth quarter for the first time since the first quarter of 2012 but was up year-over-year for the third straight quarter.