Case-Shiller Indexes Show Sharp Annual Gain in November

Case-Shiller Indexes Show Sharp Annual Gain in November

01/29/2013 BY: MARK LIEBERMAN, FIVE STAR INSTITUTE ECONOMIST

Despite seeing a month-over-month drop, the 10- and 20-city Case-Shiller Home Price Indexes registered their strongest year-over-year improvement in two and a half years on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Standard & Poor’s reported Tuesday.

The 10-city index fell 0.2 percent, and the 20-city index dropped 0.1 percent from October to November. On an annual basis, however, the 10-city index was up 4.5 percent, and the 20-city index rose 5.5 percent. It was the strongest yearly gain in the 10-city index since June 2010 and in the 20-city index since May 2010.

For the month, prices rose in 11 of the 20 cities surveyed. For the year, prices were up in 19 cities.

Economists had expected the 20-city index to fall 0.1 percent in November, calculating to a 5.8 percent year-over-year gain.

The Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA) index for November, reported last week, showed 5.7 percent yearly gain. The median price of an existing single family home, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), rose 1.4 percent in November and registered a 9.4 percent year-over-year increase.

Of the nine cities in which prices fell in November, seven showed a drop in employment, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Prices declined 1.3 percent in Chicago in November—where according to BLS, employment fell by almost 12,000—and 1.1 percent in New York, where employment fell by 8,102. Prices fell 0.9 percent in Boston. where employment dropped 737, and 0.8 percent in Cleveland, where employment fell 2,661. The unemployment rate in Chicago in November was 9.7 percent (a drop of 0.2 percentage points), 8.6 percent in New York (a drop of 0.6 percentage points), 5.9 percent in Boston (a drop of 0.4 percentage points), 8.8 percent in Cleveland, an increase of 0.9 percentage points.

The cities where prices rose in November were led by San Francisco, which saw a 1.4 price gain, and Minneapolis, where prices rose 1.0 percent. In San Francisco, according to the BLS, employment edged up 784, and the unemployment rate dropped 0.2 percentage points to 6.7 percent. In Minneapolis, employment rose 348 in November as the unemployment rate fell 0.4 percentage points to 5.2 percent.

The only city which saw a year-over-year price drop was New York, where prices fell 1.2 percent, even though the city’s employment rose 14,090 and unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage points for the year.

Phoenix showed the strongest yearly price increase, up 22.8 percent from November 2011 to November 2012, with San Francisco a distant second, recording a 12.7 percent price gain. Prices rose double digits year-over-year in only two other cities: Detroit, up 11.9 percent, and Minneapolis, up 11.1 percent.

The unemployment rate fell 1.4 percentage points year-over-year in Phoenix and 1.2 percentage points in San Francisco, though it increased 0.5 percentage points in Detroit in the year. The unemployment rate dropped 0.3 percentage points in Minneapolis in the year.

The 10-city index in November was down 30.1 percent from its June 2006 peak, and the 20-city index is down 29.4 percent from its July 2006 peak.

Hear Mark Lieberman Friday on P.O.T.U.S. radio, Sirius-XM 124, at 8:45 a.m. and again at 11:45 a.m. Eastern time.

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