For the first time in eight months the S&P/Case-Shiller
Home Price Indices rose over levels of the previous month. Data through April 2012 showed that on
average home prices increased 1.3 percent during the month for both the 10- and
Prices are still down 2.2 percent for
the 10-City and 1.9 percent for the 20-City over figures for one year earlier
but this is an improvement over the year-over-year losses of 2.9 and 2.6
percent recorded in March. Improvements
in the annual figures were also recorded by 18 of the 20 cities when compared
to March with only Detroit and New York faring worse. The 10-City Composite now has an index of
148.40 and the 20-City 135.80; the base of 100 was set in January 2000.
Nineteen of the 20 cities and both
Composites posted positive monthly returns, with Detroit being the only
exception. Phoenix continues to lead
cities with improving trends and had a 2.5 percent increase in April and the
highest annual rate of return among all 20 cities. Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, and Ls Vegas
continue to have average home prices below their January 2000 levels while both
Composites have returned to levels in the early and mid 2003 period.
David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index
Committee at S&P Indices said, "With April 2012 data we finally saw some
rising home prices. While one month does
not make a trend, particularly during seasonally strong buying months, the combination
of rising positive monthly index levels and improving annual returns is a good
were hoping to see some improvement in April," Blitzer said. "First, changes in home prices are very
seasonal, with the spring and early summer being the most active buying months. Second, while not as strong, and we believe
less reliable, the seasonally adjusted data were also largely positive, a
possible sign that the increase in prices may be due to more than just the
expected surge in spring sales.
Additionally, the last few months have seen increased sales and housing
starts amidst a lot of talk of better housing markets, so some price gains were
Atlanta posted the only double-digit
negative annual return at -17.0 percent, its 22nd consecutive month
of negative annuals returns. Ten of the
20 cities saw positive annual returns - Boston, Charlotte, Dallas, Denver,
Detroit, Miami, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Tampa, and Washington, DC. There were no new city lows in April."
"Atlanta and Phoenix, two markets we
have followed closely in 2012 for their contrasting trends, have continued
along their opposite paths," Blitzer said.
"Atlanta continues to be the only city with double-digit negative annual
returns - 17.0 percent, whereas Phoenix fared the best in terms of annual
returns at +8.6 percent in April."
Case-Shiller Home Prices