Steel Markets

Case Shiller Index: Home Continued to Climb in November

Written by Sandy Williams

Home prices reached an all-time high in November, according to the latest results from S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices. The U.S. National Home Price NSA Index reported a 5.6 percent annual gain in November.

Seattle, Portland and Denver had the highest gains in the 20-City Composite in November, gaining 10.4 percent, 10.1 percent and 8.7 percent, respectively.

On a month over month basis before seasonal adjustment the National Index gained 0.2; after adjustment it recorded a 0.8 percent increase. After seasonal adjustment, all 20 cities covered by the Index reported higher home prices in November.

“With the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index rising at about 5.5% annual rate over the last two-and-a-half years and having reached a new all-time high recently, one can argue that housing has recovered from the boom-bust cycle that began a dozen years ago,” says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The recovery has been supported by a few economic factors: low interest rates, falling unemployment, and consistent gains in per-capita disposable personal income. Thirty-year fixed rate mortgages dropped under 4.5% in 2011 and have only recently shown hints of rising above that level. The unemployment rate at 4.7% is close to the Fed’s full employment target. Inflation adjusted per capita personal disposable income has risen at about a 2.5% annual rate for 30 months.

“The home prices and economic data are from late 2016. The new Administration in Washington is seeking faster economic growth, increased investment in infrastructure, and changes in tax policy which could affect housing and home prices. Mortgage rates have increased since the election and stronger economic growth could push them higher. Further gains in personal income and employment may increase the demand for housing and add to price pressures when home prices are already rising about twice as fast as inflation.”

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