The Case-Shiller 20-city home price index was up 0.76% month-over-month and 12.86% year-over-year in February.
This was pretty much in line with expectations for an 0.8% mum rise and 13% YoY rise.
January’s reading was modestly revised lower to reflect a 0.8% mum rise and 13.17% YoY rise.
Thirteen cities posted lower annual rates.
“Prices remained steady from January to February for the two Composite indices,” David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices said in a press release. “The annual rates cooled the most we’ve seen in some time.”
He pointed out that despite price gains, most other housing data has looked weak. “Five years into the recovery from the recession, the economy will need to look to gains in consumer spending and business investment more than housing,” said Blitzer. “Long overdue activity in residential construction would be welcome, but is certainly not assured.”
Ahead of the data, Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Macroeconomics has warned about reading too much into this data. He argues that Case Shiller data is compromised by foreclosures.
“As foreclosed homes typically sell for much less than regular private sales, a decline in the proportion of foreclosure sales will raise reported prices,” he writes.
Here’s a look at the trajectory of Case-Shiller home prices since 1988: