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Case-Shiller Reports Slowing House Price Growth

Paul Ausick

The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index for May tumbled 1.5% for both the 20-city and the 10-city composite indexes. The 20-city composite rose 9.3% year-over-year, well below the consensus estimate for a gain of 9.9%. Year over year, both the 10-city and 20-city indexes posted a gain of 1.1%, compared with a consensus estimate for month-over-month seasonally adjusted growth of 0.4%. That is the slowest growth since February 2013.

The index tracks prices on a three-month rolling average. May represents the three-month average of March, April and May prices.

Average home prices for May are back at their levels in the summer of 2004.

Compared with their peak in the summer of 2006, home prices on both indexes remain down about 17% to 18%. Since the low of March 2012, home prices are up 26.5% to 27.3% on both the 10-city and 20-city indexes, respectively.

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Compared with year-ago increases of 30% in some cities, no U.S. city posted a price hike of more than 17%, with Las Vegas gaining 16.9%, Los Angeles up 12.3%, Phoenix up 8.2%, San Diego up 12.4% and San Francisco up 15.4%.

The chairman of the S&P index committee said:

Home prices rose at their slowest pace since February of last year. The 10- and 20-City Composites posted just over 9%, well below expectations. Month-to-month, all cities are posting gains before seasonal adjustment; after seasonal adjustment 14 of 20 were lower. … Housing has been turning in mixed economic numbers in the last few months. Prices and sales of existing homes have shown improvement while construction and sales of new homes continue to lag. At the same time, the broader economy and especially employment are showing larger improvements and substantial gains.

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