"Economists are pessimists: they've predicted 8 of the last 3 depressions."
--Barry Asmus

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index

This is, of course, a report that tracks the average change in house prices in a set of 10-city and 20-city metropolitan areas throughout the United States.  It's a lagging indicator, since it looks at data from two months in the past, so it isn't quite as spectacular as the new and existing home sales reports, but it's still watched.
In February, the 20-city index dropped 1.1% on a not-seasonally-adjusted basis (but only 0.2% if you look at the seasonally adjusted figures), giving us a rolling year-over-year decline of 2.6% (again, not seasonally adjusted).  There are no analysts expectations to consider, so let's go on to the March figures.
According to the S&P Indices Press Release (with the depressing title "National Home Prices Hit New Low In 2011 Q1 According to the S&P/Case-Schiller Home Price Indices"), home prices fell again in March, but not quite as fast or as far as they did in February.  Unless you look at the seasonally adjusted numbers.  The Composite-20 fell 0.8% on a not-seasonally-adjusted basis (or fell 0.2% seasonally adjusted), giving us a rolling 1-year decline of 3.6%,
If you're interested, the Minneapolis metropolitan area had the worst month, with a one month NSA decline of 3.7%.  Washington DC had the best month, with a NSA 1.1% gain.

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