Home Prices Continued to Rise in August 2012

Data through August 2012, released recently by S&P Dow Jones Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, a leading measure of U.S. home prices, showed average home prices increased by 0.9 percent for both the 10- and 20-City Composites in August versus July 2012. Nineteen of the 20 cities and both Composites posted positive monthly gains in August; Seattle was the only exception where prices declined 0.1 percent over the month.

The 10- and 20-City Composites recorded annual returns of +1.3 percent and +2.0 percent in August 2012 – an improvement over the +0.6 percent and +1.2 percent respective annual rates posted for July 2012. Eighteen of the 20 cities and both Composites posted better annual returns in August compared to July 2012. Annual returns for Dallas remained unchanged at +3.6 percent and Chicago saw its annual return worsen from -1.0 percent in July to -1.6 percent in August 2012. Only three cities posted negative annual returns in August: Atlanta with -6.1 percent, New York at -2.3 percent and Chicago at -1.6 percent. Phoenix posted its fourth consecutive month double-digit increase in annual rates with a recording of +18.8 percent in August 2012. It is the best performing city among the 20 cities followed by S&P Dow Jones Indices.

In August 2012, the 10- and 20-City Composites recorded respective annual increases of 1.3 percent and 2.0 percent, and monthly gains of 0.9 percent each.

As of August 2012, average home prices across the United States are back to their summer/autumn 2003 levels for the 10-City and 20-City Composites. Measured from their June/July 2006 peaks, the decline for both Composites is approximately 30 percent through August 2012 and approximately 35 percent from the June/July 2006 peak values. The August 2012 levels for both Composites are about 8.5 percent above their recent early 2012 lows.

In August 2012, 19 MSAs and both Composites posted positive monthly gains. Seattle was the only city with a negative monthly return of -0.1 percent. Cleveland and Las Vegas were the only two cities with stronger monthly returns in August versus June. Cleveland posted a +1.0 percent month-over-month change in August as compared to +0.4 percent in July. Las Vegas had a monthly increase of 1.6 percent in August, an improvement over the +0.7 percent in July. The remaining 18 cities and two Composites had lower monthly returns in August versus July.

Source: S&P Dow Jones Indices

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