Case Shiller Home Price Index Continued Climbing in December but Could be Peaking

By Mark Lieberman

Managing Director and Senior Economist


  • Case Shiller CoreLogic national Home Price Index IMPROVED in December for the 23rd straight month, increasing 0.2 percent to 196.23;
  • The 10- and 20-city indices each GREW for the 14th straight month; each rose 0.17 percent, the 10-city average to 218.41 and the 20-city average to 204.45;
  • 10- and 20-city year-year index growth was weakest since November 2016;
  • Index ROSE in 13 of the 20 cities surveyed in December;
  • Year-year prices were UP in all 20 cities but the year-year increase slowed in ten cities.


  • Index values ROSE in Dallas for the 47th straight month; in Denver values have increased for 24 consecutive months and in both Las Vegas and Los Angeles up for 14 straight months.
  • Values FELL in Chicago and Minnesota for the fourth month in a row and in Boston for the third straight month.

Data Source: S&P Case Schiller/Core Logic

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Home values, measured by the Case Shiller Core Logic Home Price Index continue to rise but how high will they go before dropping? Such a question was once more academic than real but then came 2006 when values in both the 10-city and 20-city indices began to fall. The decline was slow at first but seemed to resemble a cascading snowball until hitting bottom three years later.

The national Case Shiller Index has recovered from its fall and indeed the national index has surpassed its historic high, reached in June 2006, while the 10- and 20-city measures are still trying.

Whether they will make it could be in doubt. The 10-city index is 3.5 percent its 226.29 high and the 20-city index is short of its 206.52 high by just 1.0 percent.

The threat, of course, comes from changes to the tax code which capped some of the tax advantages to homeownership.

We’ve seen both the measures of new and existing home sales fall even before the new tax code took effect

The signs for the overall index are ominous.

Prices fell in December in two regions the county, the Northeast and the Midwest and were up only 0.1 percent in the South. Prices rose 0.5 percent in the West. Eight of the 20 cities in the Case-Shiller survey are in the West, led by Las Vegas and Los Angeles where prices rose 0.8 percent and 0.7 percent respectively in December.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the median price of an existing single-family home fell $700 or 0.3 percent in December. The median price of an existing single-family home in the Northeast dropped $11,700 or 4.3 percent, fell $2,800 or 1.4 percent in the Midwest and dropped $500 or 0.1 percent in the West. The median price of an existing single-family home rose $2,300 or 1.1 percent in the South in December according to the NAR.

Prices nationally fell sharply in January according to the NAR which could mean a drop in the Case-Shiller Index.

Hear Mark Lieberman this Friday on P.O.T.U.S. radio’s Morning Briefing, Sirius-XM 124, at 6:20 am Eastern Time. You can follow Mark Lieberman on Twitter at @foxeconomics.

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