CASE-SHILLER HOUSING REPORT

Home prices in the U.S. hiked to their highest level in more than two years in December, posting a 5.8 percent annual gain, according to the recently released S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index. Their pace, though substantial, is “not alarming,” says David M. Blitzer, S&P Dow Jones Index Committee chairman “Home prices continue to advance, with the national average rising faster than at any time in the last two-and-a-half years,” Blitzer says. “With all 20 major cities seeing prices rise over the last year, questions about whether this is a normal housing market or if prices could be heading for a fall are natural. In comparing current home price movements to history, it is necessary to adjust for inflation. Consumer prices are higher today than 20 or 30 years ago, while the inflation rate is lower. Looking at real or inflation-adjusted home prices based on the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Index and the Consumer Price Index, the annual increase in home prices is currently 3.8 percent. Since 1975, the average pace is 1.3 percent; about two-thirds of the time, the rate is between -4 percent and +7 percent. Home prices are rising, but the speed is not alarming.”


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