8:43 AM » Coming Up: Sept. Case-Shiller, FHFA home prices
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- September data for the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index are due at 9 a.m. Eastern. Analysts expect higher prices in September on lower inventories and greater demand. For August, the Case-Shiller 20-city composite index showed home prices posted a 0.9% increase, and were up 2% from the prior year. Separately, at 10 a.m. the Federal Housing Finance Agency will report September results for its monthly house-price index. If the two reports do show higher home prices in September, these data would be the latest to signal a strengthening housing market. There have also been recent gains in new construction of homes, home-builder sentiment, and existing-home sales. However, while persistently low mortgage rates are enticing some buyers, consumers still face tight credit standards, and officials say factors such as tight lending terms will block a powerful housing recovery. Indeed, despite recent gains, prices are 30% below peak levels in 2006, according to Case-Shiller data.