Slightly worse than expectations.
At a 3.8% year-over-year decline, this is an improvement form last month’s downwardly revised 4.21% decline, but a bit worse than estimates of a decline of 3.50%.
On a sequential basis, prices slipped by 0.05%, vs expectations of 0.10% increase.
Again, all very close, but not confirming some big housing comebacy just yet as some are hoping.
The announcement certainly reflects the mixed-ness of the data, as it actually cites some pockets of strength:
“There was some weakness in the monthly statistics, as 10 of the cities post price declines in August over July,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. “And even though the annual rates are largely improving, 18 MSAs and both Composites are still negative. Nationally, home prices are still below where they were a year ago. The 10-City Composite is down 3.5% and the 20-City is down 3.8% compared to August 2010.
“In the August data, the good news is continued improvement in the annual rates of change in home prices. In spring and summer’s seasonally strong period for housing demand, we cautioned that monthly increases in prices had to be paired with improvement in annual rates before anyone could declare that the market might be stabilizing. With 16 of 20 cities and both Composites seeing their annual rates of change improve in August, we see a modest glimmer of hope with these data. As of August 2011, the crisis low for the 10- City Composite was back in April 2009; whereas it was a more recent March 2011 for the 20-City Composite. Both are about 3.9% above their relative lows.
“The Midwest is one region that really stands out in terms of recent relative strength. Chicago, Detroit and Minneapolis have all posted very sharp monthly increases going back to May. These markets were some of the weakest during the crisis, particularly Detroit. But as of August 2011, Detroit is the healthiest when viewed on an annual basis. It is up 2.7% versus August 2010. Prices there are still back to their 1995 levels, but the recent pickup in the US auto industry may finally be helping.
Original post: The gold standard of home price indices, the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index, comes out at 9:00 AM ET.
Analysts are expecting a 3.5% YOY decline, which would be an improvement from July 4.11% decline.
There’s been some growing optimism about perhaps housing maybe bottoming or coming back. We’ll get more clues in a moment although remember, the one thing about Case-Shiller is that it’s behind the curve — August feels like a long time ago.