Annual Appreciation Is Still Strong but Home Prices have Softened (a little)

The Case-Shiller Home Price Index, which is considered the “gold standard” for appreciation, showed home prices fell 0.5% in October but they were 9.2% higher when compared to October of last year. This annual reading is a decline from the 10.7% gain reported in September.


The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) also released their House Price Index, which showed that home prices were flat from September to October but they were 9.8% higher than they were in October of last year. This is a decline from the 11% annual increase reported in September. FHFA’s report measures home price appreciation on single-family homes with conforming loan amounts, which means it most likely represents lower-priced homes. It also differs from Case-Shiller’s data, in that it does not include cash buyers or jumbo loans.


Here’s What it Looks Like – Home prices have been softening, but Case-Siller’s 9.2% annual gain “is in the top quintile of historical performance levels,” per Craig J. Lazzara, Managing Director at S&P DJI. And while home prices are now down 3% from their peak, this is a far cry from a housing crash of 20% that some in the media are predicting.


In addition, Case-Shiller’s 10-city and 20-city Indexes are down 4.6% from their peak, showing that home prices in the major cities are declining a bit more than they are across the nation overall. Note that several of these cities were somewhat overheated and are now giving back a little more price-wise. However, most of the major cities saw less of a price decline in October than they did in September, which could be a sign that markets are slowly improving.