South Orange County Blog from Bob Phillips

Case Shiller Price Index Continues To Rise, Plus A Local Forecast

Posted in Housing Analysis by southorangecounty on January 30, 2014

According to the S&P/Case-Shiller 10 and 20-City Home Price Indices released Tuesday, the U.S. Housing Market is on a roll based on year-over-year increases in average home values, but month-to-month results were mixed.

prices-upThe 10 and 20-City Home Price Indices showed year-over-year growth of 13.80 and 13.70 percent respectively.

Highlights Include:

  • Dallas, Texas posted its highest rate of annual growth since 2000.
  • Chicago’s average home price rose by 11.00 percent, its highest annual gain since December 1988.
  • The 10 and 20-City Indices posted their best November home prices since 2005.

Top year-over-year gains in home prices included Las Vegas, Nevada at 27.30 percent, San Francisco, California at 23.20 percent, Los Angeles, California at 21.60 percent and San Diego, California at 18.70 percent. Atlanta, Georgia rounds out the top five cities with a year-over-year increase in home prices of 18.50 percent.

The annual readings for the S&P/Case-Shiller 10 and 20-City Housing Market Indices in November suggests that U.S. markets are strong enough to sustain momentum in spite of rising mortgage rates. The month-to-month results show that both indices decreased by an incremental 0.10 percent in November, 2013.

Keeping in mind the traditional slump in home sales during the winter and holiday season, lower month-to-month readings were neither unexpected nor disappointing.

Eight of the nine top cities posting the highest month-to-month growth in home prices were located in the Sun Belt. San Diego, California and Minneapolis, Minnesota home prices remained nearly flat after decreasing in October.

Nine of the 20 cities surveyed posted positive month-to-month growth in home prices. Of the nine cities, only Boston, Massachusetts and Cleveland, Ohio were not located in the Sun Belt.

S&P/ Dow Jones Index Committee Chairman Expects Slower Growth In 2014

David Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, noted that November’s month-to-month readings for the 10 and 20-city home price indices indicated that Phoenix, Arizona, Los Angeles, California and Las Vegas, Nevada, had each posted 20 or more consecutive months of rising home prices.

While positive in his remarks about increasing home prices, Mr. Blitzer also noted that indicators suggested a slower rate of growth during 2014.

This aligns with previously released economic news citing uncertainty about mortgage rates that may continue to rise as the Federal Reserve continues tapering its monthly asset purchases under its quantitative easing program.

The Fed’s FOMC meeting is scheduled to end Wednesday, January 29, at which time the committee’s customary statement will indicate whether or not the Fed’s monthly asset purchases will be reduced from their current level of $75 billion.

On the positive side, Chairman Blitzer said that the low inflation rate (1.50 percent in 2013) and rising home prices are helping homeowners accumulate home equity at a faster pace.

Locally, here in South Orange County, home selling activity has been a bit stronger than our typical Winter/Holiday season. In addition, our current inventory of available listings is considerably higher than it was at this time last year, which should make for a more normal market for the Spring season, for our area, which – believe it or not – starts in about a week and a half.

Once the Super Bowl activities evaporate, the following weekend is typically the start of our most active period of the year, gaining strength each week into and through Summer, before it starts to poop out, come September. Based on my 37+ years of local experience, I foresee a fairly normal buying season, good for both buyers and sellers. For sellers, I look for steady but slow appreciation, likely in the 5% range by the end of Summer, and for buyers, I look for plenty of inventory to choose from, meaning not so many “multiple offer” situations, except for just those few exceptional properties, that are also priced competitively.

If you’re going to be participating in this year’s local real estate market, it should be a “normal” one. It would be my great pleasure to assist you. Give me a call, or shoot me an email, and let’s talk about your real estate plans.

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