S&P's Case-Shiller home price index has declined for the second straight month.
June prices fell 0.2%, worse than the consensus estimate for no change and the same rate of decline seen in May. Year-over-year, prices climbed 8.1%, about in-line with forecasts but slower than a revised 9.4% gain for May and a 17-month low.
“Home price gains continue to ease as they have since last fall,” David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in a release. “For the first time since February 2008, all cities showed lower annual rates than the previous month. Other housing indicators — starts, existing home sales, and builders’ sentiment — are positive. Taken together, these point to a more normal housing sector."
Pantheon Macro's Ian Shepherdson is not concerned in the short run but expects things to get worse after autumn:
"The CS measure as published is a three-month moving average, so it tends to lag shifts in the median price numbers published in the existing home sales report. In turn, those numbers lag shifts in home sales volumes, so we are inclined to see this softening in the CS data as a response to the drop in existing home sales during the severe winter. Sales have recovered all that drop and median prices have rebounded too; the CS numbers can be expected to follow in the fall. Thereafter, though, we are struggling to see where sustained momentum in sales and price might come from, given the latest downshift in mortgage applications."