10.28.2009 Policy Points

Housing Price Indicies

In August, the seasonally-adjusted home prices of single-family units rose in 16 of the 20 metro areas tracked by the S&P/Case-Shiller Housing Price Indicies. Despite those increases, sales price levels in all 20 markets remain significantly lower than they were one year ago.

1The graph (right) shows changes in price indices for selected metros. Data are shown for Charlotte, certain peer metros in the South Atlantic, and, for purposes of regional comparisons, San Diego and Cleveland. The composite measure for all 20 metros also is shown.

While Charlotte never experienced the same housing bubble seen in other metros, housing prices, as measured by the index, have fallen by 8.7 percent over the past year. And Charlotte was one of four metros tracked in the survey that recorded a month-to-month decline in prices.

Although most of the price tracked by the S&P.Case-Shiller Indicies have risen over the past few months, those trends don’t necessarily mean that the housing bubble has fully deflated. Explains Calculated Risk:

The debate continues – is the price increase because of the seasonal mix (distressed sales vs. non-distressed sales), the impact of the first-time home buyer frenzy on prices, less supply because of modifications and the general slowdown in the foreclosure process, or have prices actually bottomed? My guess is we will see further house price declines in many areas.

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