All three home price surveys released this morning showed
prices increased in March, a more moderate improvement than in previous months in
some cases, but still broad based. The
S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, showed that prices increased
month-over-month in 19 of the 20 cities it tracks, Black Knight in 49 states, and
FHFA said 42 states and the District of Columbia posted increases in the first
quarter of 2012.
The Case-Shiller 10 City Composite Index gained 0.8 percent
in March and the 20-City was up 0.9 percent.
The quarterly National Index rose 0.2 percent in the first quarter of
2013. San Francisco's HPI increased another
2.4 percent in March and Dallas and Denver set new index peaks with March
increases of 1.2 and 1.4 percent respectively.
New York was the only city among the 20 to decline, posting a 0.3
percent drop, for March but all 20 cities had positive annual returns although
13 of the 20 posted lower annual returns in March than in February.
The annual gains in both the National and Composite indices
slowed significantly. The National Index
gained 10.6 percent from March 2013 to March 2013 while the 10-City increased
12.6 percent and the 20-City 12.4 percent. In the fourth quarter the National Index was
up 11.3 percent on an annual basis while in February the 10-city and 20-City
had annual increases of 13.1 percent and 12.9 percent respectively. Chicago showed its highest year-over-year return since December 1988, 11.5%. Las Vegas and San Francisco, the cities with the highest returns,
saw their rates of gain slow to approximately 21%; their post-crisis peak returns were 29.2% and 25.7%. At the lower end was Cleveland
with a gain of 3.9% in
the 12 months ending
The year-over-year changes suggest that prices are rising more slowly," says David M. Blitzer,
Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P
Dow Jones Indices.
"Annual price increases for the two Composites have slowed in the last four months and 13 cities saw annual price changes moderate in March. The National
Index also showed decelerating gains in the last quarter. Among those markets
seeing substantial slowdowns in price gains were some of the leading boom-bust markets including
Las Vegas, Los Angeles,
Phoenix, San Francisco and Tampa.
Housing indicators remain mixed, Blitzer said. "April housing starts
recovered the drop in March but virtually all the gain was in apartment construction, not single
family homes. New home sales also rebounded from recent weakness
but remain soft. Mortgage rates are near a seven month low but
recent comments from the Fed point to bank lending
standards as a problem. Other comments include arguments that student
loan debt is preventing many potential first time buyers from entering the housing market."
As of the first quarter
of 2014, average home prices across the United States are back to the levels posted in the spring of 2004. At the end of the first quarter of 2014, the National Index was up 0.2% over the fourth
quarter of 2013 and
10.3% above the first quarter of 2013. The two composite indices have
returned to mid-2004 levels and measured from the June/July 2006 peaks are down
approximately 19-20 percent and have recovered by about 24 percent from the March
FHFA's HPI rose 0.7 percent from
February to March compared to a 0.6 percent increase in January. The annual increase was 6.5 percent. As noted there were first quarter increases
in the HPI in 42 states and the District of Columbia compared to increases in
38 states during the fourth quarter of 2013.
It was the 11th consecutive quarter the FHFA HPI has
increased and the monthly seasonally adjusted purchase-only index for the U.S.
has increased for 23 of the last 24 months
The states with the strongest annual
appreciation were Nevada, the District of Columbia, California, Arizona, and
Florida. Among the nine census divisions
the Pacific Division had the strongest increase in the first quarter with a 2.1
percent increase and the region was up 13.2 percent from the previous
year. On the monthly basis however the
Pacific region had only a 0.4 percent increase, well below the national average
and the 4.6 percent jump in New England and 1.2 percent in the West North
There were first quarter price
increases in 71 of the 100 metropolitan areas tracked by FHFA with the
strongest increase, 10.7 percent, in the Charleston, South Carolina area and
the weakest in New Orleans, down 2.6 percent.
Black Knight said that its HPI for the
nation as a whole was $235,000 in March, a 1 percent increase from the previous
month and 12.8 percent below the peak in the index, $269,000, reached in June
2006. Colorado and Texas established
new peak HPI's in March as they have done virtually every month since last
Michigan and the District of Columbia
had the largest month-over month increases at 1.6 percent each, followed by
four states, Washington, Oregon, Illinois, and Georgia that increased 1.5
percent. Missouri and North Dakota were
each up 1.3 percent and Minnesota and Nevada 1.2 percent.
Connecticut was the only state where
the HPI declined from February to March, a slight loss of 0.1 percent. Three other New England states, while in
positive territory, posted the worst performances in the country. Rhode Island increased 0.1 percent, Vermont
0.2 percent, and New Hampshire 0.3 percent.