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Case-Shiller: National and Local Home Prices Rise Slightly

  • Jul 26th 2011

by Mark Wellborn

The latest Case-Shiller report released this morning showed that home prices rose about 1 percent nationally between April and May 2011, but that prices dropped across the country by about 4.5 percent since May of last year. The index reported that home prices in the DC area increased on both a monthly (+2.4%) and annual (+1.3%) basis.

Case-Shiller: National and Local Home Prices Rise Slightly: Figure 1
Case-Shiller May 2011

Between April 2011 and May 2011, area prices increased in each price tier measured by the index: the low tier (under $293,756), the middle tier (homes between $293,756 and $457,827) and the high tier (above $457,827). The same across-the-tier increase occurred between March and April.

From David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices:

“We see some seasonal improvements with May’s data. This is a seasonal period of stronger demand for houses, so monthly price increases are to be expected and were seen in 16 of the 20 cities (measured by Case-Shiller). The exceptions where prices fell were Detroit, Las Vegas and Tampa. However, 19 of 20 cities saw prices drop over the last 12 months. The concern is that much of the monthly gains are only seasonal.”

UrbanTurf has said it before, and will say it again: Take the Case-Shiller for what it is.

As housing market guru Jonathan Miller has pointed out, the index is little more than “a foundation for consumer sentiment on the housing market, not an accurate description of the current housing market.” This is because the index is based on closed sales and home price data that is 5 to 7 months old. Also, the main Case-Shiller index only covers single-family home prices, so co-op and condo prices are not included in the analysis that is widely reported. This means that in places like DC, Chicago and New York City (where condos/co-ops are prevalent), the index does not offer the most accurate picture of housing prices.

A more current picture of the local market came earlier this month, when RealEstate Business Intelligence (RBI), the research arm of Metropolitan Regional Information Systems (MRIS) reported that 5,124 home purchase contracts were signed in the DC area in June, the highest total for this month since 2005.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/case_shiller_national_and_local_home_prices_rise_slightly/3866.

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