From Calculated Risk:
Case-Shiller has released the Seasonally Adjusted house price index.
Prices fell slightly in May (compared to April) for the Composite 10 and Composite 20 indexes.
Seasonally adjusted, prices fell in 12 of the 20 Case Shiller cities.
There is a strong seasonal pattern to house prices, and it is important to use the SA data. Unfortunately Case-Shiller did not release the SA data earlier this morning. This has lead to numerous incorrect headlines about prices increasing from April to May. That is correct, if they mention the data is Not Seasonally Adjusted.
U.S. Case-Shiller index down 17.1% in past year
U.S. May Case-Shiller home prices up 0.5%
U.S. home prices up month to month for first time in nearly three years: Case-Shiller
From Standard and Poor’s:
Data through May 2009, released today by Standard & Poor’s for its S&P/Case-Shiller1 Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, show that, although still negative, the annual rate of decline of the 10-City and 20-City Composites improved for the fourth consecutive month in 2009.
“The pace of descent in home price values appears to be slowing” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s. “There is a clear inflection point in the year-over-year data, due to four consecutive months of improved rates of return, after the steep decline that began in the fall of 2005. In addition to the 10-City and 20-City Composites, 17 of the 20 metro areas also saw improvement in their annual returns compared to those of April. Looking at the monthly data, 13 of the 20 metro areas reported positive returns; and the 10-City and 20-City Composites reported positive returns for the first time since the summer of 2006. To put it in perspective, these are the first time we have seen broad increases in home prices in 34 months. This could be an indication that home price declines are finally stabilizing”.
“While many indicators are showing signs of life in the U.S. housing market, we should remember that on a year-over-year basis home prices are still down about 17% on average across all metro areas, so we likely do have a way to go before we see sustained home price appreciation.” Mr. Blitzer added.”
From the AP:
A widely watched index shows home prices posted their first monthly increase since the summer of 2006, indicating prices are finally stabilizing.
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index of 20 major cities released Tuesday rose 0.5 percent from April, but was still 17.1 percent below May a year ago.
The value of U.S. homes grew on a monthly basis in May for the first time in nearly three years, according to 20-city index released Tuesday.
The month-over-month increase was 0.5%, according to the report from financial data company Standard & Poor’s and economists Case-Shiller. It was the first increase in the monthly index since July 2006.
On an annual basis, home prices in the 20 cities fell 17.1%, but it was the fourth straight month that the year-over-year decline lessened.
Home values in 20 major U.S. cities fell less than forecast in May, reinforcing evidence that the market is stabilizing.
The S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index dropped 17.1 percent from a year earlier, the smallest drop in nine months, following an 18.1 percent drop in April, the group said today in New York. The gauge rose from the prior month for the first time in almost three years.
Price declines may keep moderating as demand steadies and distressed properties account for a smaller share of transactions. Even so, rising unemployment, stagnant confidence and the loss of wealth caused in part by the drop in property values mean a rebound may be slow to take hold.
“Lower home prices and improved affordability should start to stimulate home sales somewhat during 2009 despite higher unemployment,” James O’Sullivan, a senior economist at UBS Securities LLC in Stamford, Connecticut, said before the report.
Economists forecast the index would drop 17.9 percent from a year earlier, according to the median of 32 projections in a Bloomberg News survey. Estimates ranged from declines of 17.5 percent to 18.3 percent.
Compared with a month earlier, home prices climbed 0.5 percent in May, the first gain since July 2006 and biggest since May of that year, today’s report showed. Just six of the cities showed a decline in prices from April to May.
The price figures aren’t adjusted for seasonal effects, so economists prefer to focus on year-over-year changes.