Here’s a bit of good news from a macro sense – home prices appear to be finding their footing to some extent after a brief double dip in prices. This morning’s Case Shiller Index showed slight increases in overall home prices (via S&P):
Case/Shiller Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, showed a fourth consecutive month of increases for the 10- and 20-City Composites, with both up 0.9% in July over June. Seventeen of the 20 MSAs and both Composites posted positive monthly increases; Las Vegas and
Phoenix were down over the month and Denver was unchanged.
…“With July’s data we are seeing not only anticipated monthly increases, but some fairly broad improvement
in the annual rates of change in home prices,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at
S&P Indices. “This is still a seasonal period of stronger demand for houses, so monthly price increases are
expected and were seen in 17 of the 20 cities. The exceptions were Las Vegas and Phoenix where prices
fell, while Denver was flat. The better news is that 14 of 20 cities and both Composites saw their annual
rates of change improve in July.
“While we have now seen four consecutive months of generally increasing prices, we do know that we are
still far from a sustained recovery. Eighteen of the 20 cities and both Composites are showing that home
prices are still below where they were a year ago. The 10-City Composite is down 3.7% and the 20-City is
down 4.1% compared to July 2010. Continued increases in home prices through the end of the year and
better annual results must materialize before we can confirm a housing market recovery.
So, we have some seasonal strength and a bit of an adjustment after another nasty winter season. All in all, this is the housing market we’re going to have to come to love for the next few years. As we work off the massive inventory and the balance sheet recession continues we’re likely to see what I believe will be national home prices which largely move sideways.
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.