Case-Schiller Home Price Index: Still No Good Housing News

by: Tim Iacono

Standard & Poor’s just released the August update for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index - shown below are changes to home prices for the 20 cities that comprise the index.

For those of you having trouble following the color codes, from top to bottom on the rightmost part of the chart, the list of cities is as follows: Los Angeles, Miami, Washington D.C., San Diego, Las Vegas, Tampa, Phoenix, San Francisco, New York, Seattle, Portland, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Cleveland, Detroit

From the report(.pdf):

The 10-City Composite’s annual decline of 5.0% is at a rate not seen since June 1991. The lowest on record was an annual decline of 6.3% recorded in April 1991. In August, the 20-City Composite recorded an annual decline of 4.4%.

“At both the national and metro area levels, the fall in home prices is showing no real signs of a slowdown or turnaround,” says Robert J. Shiller, Chief Economist at MacroMarkets LLC. “Year-over-year and monthly price returns are continuing to either move deeper into negative territory or are experiencing persistent diminishing returns. There is really no positive news in today’s report, as most of the metro areas are showing declining or vanishing returns on both an annual and monthly basis. Only two metro areas – Denver and Detroit – showed improvement in their annual returns and even those were reports of slightly less negative numbers.”

Tampa surpassed Detroit in August, reporting a double-digit annual decline of 10.1%. Detroit followed with -9.3% and San Diego with -8.3%. Remarkably, in August eight of the 20 metro areas reported their lowest recorded annual returns – these cities are Cleveland, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, Phoenix, San Diego, Tampa, & Washington D.C.

On the bright side, for those living in Southern California, note that Los Angeles is now ahead of Miami for having held the largest gain since the 20 city series began in 2000.

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