Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has just released the findings of its latest Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices that charts monthly price trends in the housing market.
The newest report, which surveys home prices for July, found monthly prices from June were up nationally by 0.9 percent for both the 10- and 20-City Composites, the fourth consecutive positive month for the indices.
Houston is not represented in the Case-Shiller, but the indices do track prices in Dallas, which posted a 0.9 increase that was consistent with the national average.
David M. Blitzer the chairman of the S&P Indices Index Committee, said that beyond the Case-Shiller’s monthly findings, annual statistics were even more promising, though housing is most likely showing seasonal gains from summer home buying.
“With July’s data we are seeing not only anticipated monthly increases, but some fairly broad improvement in the annual rates of change in home prices,” Blitzer said. “This is still a seasonal period of stronger demand for houses, so monthly price increases are expected and were seen in 17 of the 20 cities.”
National home prices have returned to their 2003 levels, though the market still suffers somewhat when compared with home prices from 2010. For the 10- and 20-City Composites, prices are down 3.7 and 4.1 percent, respectively.
Blitzer also commented on a couple other positive findings in S&P’s research, though he did warn that housing is not quite out of the woods.
“Existing-home sales … were up in August and are about 20 percent above their August 2010 level. The S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default indices showed a continuing decline in mortgage default rates, a two-year trend,” Blitzer said. “However, if you look at the state of the overall economy and, in particular, the recent large decline in consumer confidence, these combined statistics continue to indicate that the housing market is still bottoming and has not turned around.”