There was another tick-up in home prices in July, a further indication that housing markets may be stabilizing, according to a report issued Tuesday.
Prices for the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price index of 20 cities rose 1.6% from a month earlier, the third consecutive month of gains. They went up 1.4% in June.
Prices were still down 13.3% compared with July 2008, but even that performance was better than expected. A panel of industry experts surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast a 14.2% loss.
“The rate of annual decline in home price values continues to decelerate and we now seem to be witnessing some sustained monthly increases across many of the markets” said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s.
The Case-Shiller index compares the sale price of a home to its price the last time it was sold, then factors in changes in prices over time.
That, ideally, yields a more accurate picture of home price fluctuations than simply calculating the median or average prices of all homes sold during the month. Those averages can be skewed by changes in the mix of homes sold during any one period.
Anyone paying attention will shrug this off for a number of reasons:
1. July closings were buying decisions made 1-3 months earlier, which is old news.
2. Government intervention renders all data suspect.
3. The data is too nebulous – who cares about national stats, or even county stats.
There not much we can do about #2 above, but let’s fine-tune #1 & #3, and look at more revelent data – the 31 detached September sales so far in Carmel Valley, 92130:
Eight of the 31 were previously purchased in the 2003-2009 period, or, in other words, 74% of the sellers had owned since 2002 or longer.
Only four sold for less than they paid: -2%, -3%, -18%, and -20%.
ONLY 3 BUYERS HAD LESS THAN 20% DOWN PAYMENT.
15 buyers had more than 30% down payment.
One short sale, and no REO sales.
In areas like Carmel Valley, the market seems to be getting stronger the last few months with multiple offers on virtually every well-priced new listing. The $8,000 tax credit and FHA loans aren’t going to be much of a factor when the average sales price is $914,516 – only three FHA loans in September so far.
Here are monthly detached stats for 92130:
|Month||# of Sales||Avg. Sales Price||Avg. $/sf||Avg. DOM|
Pricing appears to be easing, which should continue – as should the demand.