This is one of those reports which can be taken either way: In one sense, the year-on-year change is up 2% – better than the 1.7% expected, but on the other hand, the prices are still stuck at summer-autumn 2003 kind of levels. Here’s the detail in their press release just out:
“Data through August 2012, released today by S&P Dow Jones Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller1 Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, showed average home prices increased by 0.9% 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% over the month.
The 10- and 20-City Composites recorded annual returns of +1.3% and +2.0% in August 2012 – an improvement over the +0.6% and +1.2% 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% and Chicago saw its annual return worsen from -1.0% in July to -1.6% in August 2012. Only three cities posted negative annual returns in August: Atlanta with -6.1%, New York at -2.3% and Chicago at -1.6%. Phoenix posted its fourth consecutive month double-digit increase in annual rates with a recording of +18.8% in August 2012. It is the best performing city among the 20 cities followed by S&P Dow Jones Indices.
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% through August 2012 and approximately 35% from the June/July 2006 peak values. The August 2012 levels for both Composites are about 8.5% above their recent early 2012 lows. “
Hats off to the S&P IT Department – for handling a high volume report like this under what are difficult conditions this week on the ‘net.