Let’s talk about the Case-Shiller Home Price Index and the Pending Home Sales Report. These are two major monthly home reports that have the best finger on the pulse of the housing economy.
The first which is the Case-Shiller Home Price Index. It is considered the gold standard for appreciation and it was just released for this month. Case-Shiller does have a few indexes which can make it confusing but two are the most important: the National Index and the 20 city index. The US National Home Price Index covers all nine census divisions, reported a 3.2% annual gain in August. So, remember this is a three-month average of June, July and August prices. This in particular, was a slight increase from July, which covers May, June and July and was revised lower from 3.2 to 3.1. The other index which is important is the 20 City Index, and it was unchanged at 2% on a year over year basis with no change from the previous month. Remember on a $300,000 home with 3.2% gain and appreciation really translates to $9,600 bucks over the course of a year, and that’s still quite meaningful.
The second report, which is the Pending Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors, which measures assigned contracts on existing homes and it’s a really good leading indicator for existing home sales by a month or two. It was at 1.5% in September. This reading was actually much stronger than expectations of the 0.7% gain and the second best number in the last 12 months. The gains were fairly broad based, although the overall gains in the West and the Northeast are easing a bit and not coming in a strong. Year-over-year contract signings were up 3.9% annually, and today’s report continues to string of strong housing data, which is really good news for us as homeowners.
If you have questions, let me know.