Today’s Case Shiller data confirmed recent reports of weakness in housing. Although the Case Shiller report lags by one month the data showed signs of weakness that have also been apparent in the NAR’s data as well as Clear Capital’s housing index. The Case Shiller data showed a 1.7% year over year improvement in prices in August, but showed a -0.1% decline on a month on month basis. Although this doesn’t sound even remotely alarming it is in-line with the Clear Capital data which is a month in advance and showed sharp deterioration in September. The Case Shiller data is likely to reflect steeper declines next month. David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s commented on the data:
“A disappointing report. Home prices broadly declined in August. Seventeen of the 20 cities and both
Composites saw a weakening in year-over-year figures, as compared to July, indicating that the housing
market continues to bounce along the recent lows. Over the last four months both the 10- and 20-City Composites show slowing growth, after sustaining consistent gains since their April 2009 troughs.
“The month-over-month growth rates tell the same story. Fifteen of the 20 MSAs and the two
Composites saw a decline in the month of August as compared to July levels. The 10- and 20-City
Composites fell 0.1% and 0.2%, respectively. Indeed, the housing market appears to have stabilized at
new lows. At this time, it does not seem that any of the markets are hanging on to the temporary
momentum caused by the homebuyers’ tax credits.”
Mr. Roche is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Discipline Funds.Discipline Funds is a low fee financial advisory firm with a focus on helping people be more disciplined with their finances.
He is also the author of Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Understand About Money and Finance, Understanding the Modern Monetary System and Understanding Modern Portfolio Construction.