S&P/Case Shiller Indices Improve

The annual growth rates in 15 of the 20 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and the 10- and 20-city composites tracked by the [link=http://www.standardandpoors.com/servlet/BlobServer?blobheadername3=MDT-Type&blobcol=urldocumentfile&blobtable=SPComSecureDocument&blobheadervalue2=inline%3B+filename%3Ddownload.pdf&blobheadername2=Content-Disposition&blobheadervalue1=application%2Fpdf&blobkey=id&blobheadername1=content-type&blobwhere=1245218282437&blobheadervalue3=abinary%3B+charset%3DUTF-8&blobnocache=true ]S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices[/link] improved in May compared to those reported for April. The 10-city composite is up 5.4% and the 20-city composite is up 4.6% from where they were in May 2009.

While 19 MSAs and both composites reported positive monthly changes in May over April, only 12 of the MSAs and the two composites saw better month over-month growth rates in May than those reported in April.

"While May's report on its own looks somewhat positive, a broader look at home price levels over the past year still do not indicate that the housing market is in any form of sustained recovery," says David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor's. "Since reaching its recent trough in April 2009, the housing market has really only stabilized at this lower level. The two composites have improved between five percent and six percent since then, but this is no better than the improvement they had registered as of October 2009. The last seven months have basically been flat."

Blitzer notes that the month-over-month improvements were largely expected, given the strong seasonal period for home prices and the residual impact from the federal home buyer tax credit.

‘We need to watch where the housing markets will go after these temporary stimuli go away,’ he says. ‘June's existing and new home sales and housing starts data do not show much real improvement in those statistics either. It still looks possible that the housing market might bounce along the bottom for the foreseeable future, before showing any real improvement that will filter through to the rest of the economy."

On Tuesday, the [link=http://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2010/07/26/statement-commerce-under-secretary-rebecca-blank-new-residential-sale ]Commerce Department[/link]'s U.S. Bureau of the Census released new-home sales data for June 2010, which showed that sales of new single-family houses jumped 23.6% in June to 330,000 units. The private sector had projected an increase on the order of 3.7%, the department said.

Rebecca Blank, the U.S. Commerce Department's undersecretary for economic affairs, said month-to-month housing data are volatile.

‘But one key ingredient for a healthy housing market is job growth, and the president remains tightly focused on ensuring that the labor market continues to recover,’ Blank said.

SOURCES: [link=http://www.standardandpoors.com/servlet/BlobServer?blobheadername3=MDT-Type&blobcol=urldocumentfile&blobtable=SPComSecureDocument&blobheadervalue2=inline%3B+filename%3Ddownload.pdf&blobheadername2=Content-Disposition&blobheadervalue1=application%2Fpdf&blobkey=id&blobheadername1=content-type&blobwhere=1245218282437&blobheadervalue3=abinary%3B+charset%3DUTF-8&blobnocache=true ]S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Indices[/link], [link=http://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2010/07/26/statement-commerce-under-secretary-rebecca-blank-new-residential-sale ]U.S. Commerce Department[/link]


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