The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index for September was higher for the sixth consecutive month. The 20-city composite rose 0.3% in September, lower than the consensus expectation for a rise of 0.4% and below the August increase of 0.8%. On an annual basis, September prices were up 2.1% and 3% on the 10- and 20-city composites, respectively. The national composite for the third quarter was 3.6% higher year-over-year and 2.2% higher sequentially.
Compared with August house prices, the 20-city composite posted annual returns of 3%, while the 10-city composite rose 2.1%. Only two cities in the 20-city composite posted an annual decline — Detroit and Washington D.C. — and New York was flat.
The chairman of the S&P index committee said:
We are entering the seasonally weak part of the year. The headline figures, which are not seasonally adjusted, showed five cities with lower prices in September versus only one in August; in the seasonally adjusted data the pattern was reversed: one city fell in September versus two in August. Despite the seasons, housing continues to improve.
Phoenix continues to lead the recovery in house prices, up 20.4% year-over-year, while Chicago and New York have posted annual declines of 1.5% and 2.3%, respectively.
S&P notes that “it is safe to say that we are now in the midst of a recovery in the housing market.” But as the charts show, the recovery is moving at a snail’s pace.
The full press release is available here.