Pressure on Home Prices Continues

By Mark Lieberman

Managing Director and Senior Economist

Highlights:

  • Case Shiller CoreLogic indices BARELY BUDGED in August with one of the three indices unchanged;
  • The August 10-city index WAS FLAT to July after increasing just 0.07 percent in July;
  • The 20-city index ROSE 0.04 percent and the National index ROSE 0.20 percent in August compared with increases of 0.16 percent and 0.36 percent respectively in July;
  • Year-year the 10-city index was UP 1.5 percent and the 20-city index ROSE 2.0 percent in July after annual increases of 1.6 percent and 2.2 percent in July;
  • The national index IMPROVED 3.2 percent in year-year in August compared with a 3.1 percent year-year increase in July;
  • Year-year the price growth slowed in 12 cities in July.

Trends:

  • The growth in the price indices slowed for the fourth straight month;
  • The price index ROSE in 11 cities in August, down from 15 in July;
  • The price index rose for the 20th straight month in Miami while falling for the second straight month in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Data Source: S&P Case Shiller/Core Logic

Image result for single-family home prices


Though home prices continued to increase in August, they did so at an alarmingly weaker pace, according to the monthly Case Shiller-CoreLogic home price index produced by Standard & Poor’s.

The slower increase in home values immediately recalled the slowdown prior to the Great Recession. Price growth, according to the Case Shiller tabulations, slowed in mid-2006 before turning negative for almost three years.

The slower price growth combined with near-record low mortgage interest rates should combine to lead to an increase in home sales, but that hasn’t been the case. The National Association of Realtors reported recently sales of existing single-family homes fell 2.2 percent in September as the price of an existing single-family home dropped for the third straight month. And, last week the government reported sales of new single-family homes slipped 0.7 percent in September as the median price of a new single-family home fell to its lowest level since February 2017.

The Case Shiller report showed a distinct geographic bent with prices falling 0.2 percent in the West but increasing in the other three census regions.

The sharpest increase came in Phoenix (up 0.9 percent in August compared with 0.7 percent in July. Prices were up 0.3 percent in Cleveland, Miami, and Tampa. But prices dropped 0.5 percent in San Francisco, 0.3 percent in Seattle and 0.2 percent in Denver and San Diego.

Year-year, prices fell 0.1 percent in San Francisco, the first year-year price drop there since April 2012. While prices rose year-year in the 19 other cities surveyed, the year-year price increase was lower in 11 cities than it had been in July.

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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