Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Case-Shiller Home Price Index

  • Last week NAR released median home price information that showed gains of 4.5 percent in June 2014 home prices compared to June 2013. This gain was slightly higher than the 4.1 percent seen in May and notably slower than double-digit price growth in summer/fall 2013.
  • Today, S&P/Case-Shiller released their housing price index for May which showed that home prices grew 9.3 percent year-over-year for the 20-city index and 9.4 percent for the 10-city index. This was the first month in the last 15 months that Case-Shiller showed year-over-year gains of less than 10 percent. NAR data showed that the 11 months of double-digit price gains ended in late 2013.
  • NAR reports the median price of all homes that have sold while Case-Shiller reports the results of a weighted repeat-sales index. Because home sales among higher priced properties have been growing more than among lower price tiers, the NAR median price had risen by more than the weighted repeat sales index—which computes price change based on repeat sales of the same property.
  • The reason Case-Shiller’s reported price growth is now higher is likely a result of the data lag. Case-Shiller uses public records data which has a reporting lag. To deal with the lag, Case-Shiller data is based on a 3 month moving average, so reported May prices include information from repeat transactions closed in March, April, and May. For this reason, the changes in the NAR median price tend to lead Case-Shiller changes.
  • For housing market performance, given recent trends in NAR data, expect Case-Shiller-measured price growth to continue to moderate in the next few months. For those seeking to determine what this means for home prices in their market, contact a local expert who can give you the most current MLS information and put these national headlines in context.

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