S&P/CaseShiller home price index

The May S&P/CaseShiller 20 city home price index fell 17.06% y/o/y, better than the forecasted drop of 17.9% and its the smallest fall since Aug ’08. The overall index had its first uptick since July ’06 (the month of its record high) m/o/m but is still down 32% from that record high. Y/o/Y declines continue but 14 of the 20 cities had m/o/m gains with Cleveland leading the way. In last week’s June Existing Home Sales # (where contracts were likely signed in the April-May timeframe), the NAR said distressed sales made up 31% of sales, down from the recent trend of 45-50%, thus a slower rate of foreclosures likely had an influence on the better than expected home price index. Mortgage rates in June rose 50 bps from May, so next month we’ll see what influence, if any, it had on pricing. The economic stress all comes down to household debt and home prices and thus CaseShiller data grows in importance. This data is not seasonally adjusted and is thus too early to declare a home price bottom.

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