This data may not seem as fresh as an unemployment report, but housing prices actually fell in October versus September. The good news is that this is largely due to seasonal weakness. The bad news is that the drop broke a six-month streak of gains.
The 10 major metropolitan readings and the 20 major metropolitan readings fell by 0.1%. If you take a seasonal adjustment, the readings would have shown a gain of 0.6% for the 10-city index and a gain of 0.7% on the 20-city index. If you use a year-over-year reading, the gains were 3.4% on the 10-city index and 4.3% growth in the 20-city index.
To blame for the consecutive drop were lower housing prices. Mortgage rates are still very close to all-time lows, and this is also at a time when rents are considered to be at very high rates. Distressed home sales also account for less and less of the housing sales.
The good news is that 2012 has proven to be a year of recovery in the housing market. The bad news is that we are still down close to 30% in average housing prices from the peak in 2006.
JON C. OGG