San Diego’s Case-Shiller Index numbers were up in April, the fourth month in a row:

Month SA Non-SA
Apr 09 145.80 144.43
Apr 10 162.91 161.39
Apr 11 155.93 154.50
This Year Below
Jan 12 150.60 148.74
Feb 12 151.47 149.07
Mar 12 152.09 149.68
Apr 12 153.14 151.75

Case-Shiller HPI: San Diego, CA Chart

From yesterday’s BI:

According  to a new note to clients, Deutsche  Bank Chief U.S. Economist Joe LaVorgna fully expects tomorrow’s Case-Shiller  number to give an inaccurate read on U.S. home prices.

“[W]e  believe C-S is understating recent home price appreciation, as a broad array of  other home price metrics is showing a more significant improvement in pricing  behavior,” wrote LaVorgna.

He  cites four competing home price measures that all show home prices increasing  year-over-year, which conflicts with the decline in the Case-Shiller  number.

For  example, the CoreLogic home price series, arguably the broadest  measure of home prices in the US, has increased four months in a row at a +11.8%  annualized rate. This is the fastest rate since the four months ending November  2005 (+11.7%). Over the past year, the CoreLogic series is up +1.1%.  Importantly, the FHFA home price figures have shown similar  price appreciation; the series is up three months in a row at a +11.3%  annualized pace. Over the last 12 months, FHFA prices have increased  +3.0%.

Additionally,  the improvement in the year-over-year growth rates is corroborated by both the median existing and new home price data, where  the gains are +7.9% and +5.6%, respectively. Hence, we have four different home  price metrics that are showing much more substantial home prices improvement  than C-S, leading us to downplay the significance of the latter.

LaVorgna  also attributes this discrepancy to lagging data. “Over time, we expect C-S to  catch up to these other home price series.”

All  of this has us wondering if we should really be paying attention to the  Case-Shiller at all.

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