Though the latest housing data show monthly declines, two reports released Tuesday offer hope that statistics may improve more dramatically once the impact of frigid and storm-laden winter passes.
The S&P (Standard & Poor’s)/Case-Shiller Home Prices Indices showed almost no change from December 2013 to January in the 10-City Composite and a 0.1% decline in the 20-City Composite. The best performance came again from Las Vegas, which posted a 1.1% gain during the period. Seattle fell the hardest month-to-month at -0.8%.
Change between January 2013 and January 2014 showed positive news, with 13.5% and 13.2% annual rises, respectively, for the 10- and 20-City Composites. In fact, all 20 showed annual gains with 13 of them in double-figures. Cleveland showed the most anemic rise (4%). Las Vegas also led the way in that distinction falling just short of a 25% increase. Granted, analysts noted the Nevada city remains farthest from its peak level of the last decade than any other city tracked. Dallas and Denver, with a 10% and 9% increase each, were about middle of the pack but actually are closest to all-time index highs.
The slightly poor monthly numbers were all but expected because of the weather. Such was the same in the latest residential real estate sales for February 2014, released Tuesday by the US Department of Commerce. Sales dropped a less-than-expected 3.3% from January to February. Also noteworthy is that, while home prices are rising, analysts suspect this has more to do with a lack of supply in the types of housing buyers are now looking for (Re: not “McMansions”).
- Brian Shappell, CBA, CICP, NACM staff writer