Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

NAR analysis of Case-Shiller Price Index

  • Today, Case Shiller released their housing price index data for January 2015 which showed that house prices rose 4.4 percent from December one year ago for the 10-city composite, 4.6 percent for the 20-city composite, and 4.5 percent for the national index.
  • Last week NAR reported growing prices in January and February.  Price growth in the year ended February 2015 was 7.5% after rising 5.2% in January.  FHFA January data showed a gain of 5.1% for the year ended January 2015.
  • Case Shiller’s city by city data show some areas are increasing at a faster pace in January over December though this trend is not yet evident in the headline figures.  Fourteen cities saw accelerating prices including Chicago (2.5% from 1.4%), Boston (4.7% from 3.8%), and Charlotte (4.3% from 3.5%).  The biggest weakening in year over year growth rates was seen in previously hot areas San Francisco (7.9% from 9.4%), Las Vegas (5.9% from 6.9%), and Tampa (5.7% from 6.4%).
  • While the previous cities had the biggest changes in year over year growth rate, others top the list of areas with the fastest overall growth rates: Denver (8.4%), Miami (8.3%), and Dallas (8.1%) had the fastest growth in the year ending January 2015.  By contrast, Washington DC (1.3%), Cleveland (1.6%), and New York (2.1%) had the slowest year over year growth.   Therefore, it is critical that home sellers in slow appreciating markets properly price their home (not too high) in order to attract buyers.
  • Case Shiller data, like NAR data is showing more even price growth across regions as prices picked up in previously slow growing areas and slowed down a bit in previously hot areas.
  • NAR reports the median price of all homes that have sold while Case Shiller reports the results of a weighted repeat-sales index.  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 January prices include information from repeat transactions closed in November, December, and January.  For this reason, the changes in the NAR median price tend to lead Case Shiller and may suggest that a slight pick-up in prices will be seen in the next few months.  
    nar med sales
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