Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
From March to April the S&P Case-Shiller 10– and 20–city composite home price indexes reported positive monthly growth for the first time in eight months—up 0.8 and 0.7 percent, respectively. However, on an annual basis both indexes remain in negative territory and six of the 20-city composite showed new index lows in April: Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, Miami, and Tampa. The seasonally adjusted numbers reveal that much of the perceived improvements simply reflect the beginning of the spring-summer home buying season. Although foreclosures remain a large factor in most parts of the country, the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default indexes show a small decline in the pace of new defaults since last November as banks tighten lending standards and lengthen the foreclosure process. While both the 10- and 20-city composite indices are down over 30 percent from their 2006 peaks they have gained 1.4 and .07 percent from their 2009 troughs.
The FHFA national home price index also rose 0.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from March to April, yet is still down 5.7 percent from April of 2010. Across all nine Census Divisions, prices remain down on a year-over-year basis, while monthly price changes from March to April ranged from a decline of 1.3 percent in the Mountain Division to a 2.2 percent increase in the New England Division. Overall, home prices are continuing an upward struggle and are nearly the same as January 2004 levels. Despite gradual improvements to the national housing markets we would need to see several months of growth to shift the annual momentum to the positive side.