Steel Markets

Home Prices Continue To Rise in S&P Case-Shiller Indices

Written by Sandy Williams

Home prices continued to grow in July according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices. On a year-over-year basis, the National Index rose 5.1 percent in July, up from 5 percent in June. The 20-City composite reported a year-over-year gain of 5.0 percent, compared to 5.1 percent in June.

Home prices in Portland, Seattle and Denver had the highest year-over-year gains in the 20-city composite, increasing in each of the last six months. Portland prices rose 12.4 percent, Seattle 11.2 percent, and Denver 9.4 percent.

In an analysis of the data David Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said:

“Both the housing sector and the economy continue to expand with home prices continuing to rise at about a 5% annual rate. The statement issued last week by the Fed after its policy meeting confirms the central bank’s view that the economy will see further gains. Most analysts now expect the Fed to raise interest rates in December. After such Fed action, mortgage rates would still be at historically low levels and would not be a major negative for house prices.”

“The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Index is within 0.6% of the record high set in July 2006. Seven of the 20 cities have already set new record highs. The 10-year, 20-year, and National indices have been rising at about 5% per year over the last 24 months. Eight of the cities are seeing prices up 6% or more in the last year. Given that the overall inflation is a bit below 2%, the pace is probably not sustainable over the long term. The run-up to the financial crisis was marked with both rising home prices and rapid growth in mortgage debt. Currently, outstanding mortgage debt on one-to-four family homes is 12.6% below the peak seen in the first quarter of 2008 and up less than 2% in the last four quarters. There is no reason to fear that another massive collapse is around the corner.”

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