Maybe homes are holding value better than we thought.
CASE-SHILLER INDEX UP 0.8 PERCENT
One month after reporting that its home price gauge had officially double dipped, Standard & Poor’s says prices have inched up, in line with the expected seasonal boost that accompanies the spring buying season. Tuesday, the S&P’s Case-Shiller Index showed home values higher by 0.8 percent in April, on a monthly basis. Led by Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, 13 of the Case-Shiller’s 20 tracked markets showed improvement in April.
It’s the first monthly gain in eight months. The composite reading remains 4.0 percent below April 2010.
For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values increased a nominal 0.6% from March to April, down 32.6% from a June 2006 peak as values fell 3.1% year-over-year.
Between March and April of this year, home values rose 0.8 percent nationally, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Home Price Index. It’s the index’s first month-to-month improvement since May of last year.
Values are down 19 percent since peaking 4 years ago. Private-sector data affirms the government’s report.
BAY AREA CASE-SHILLER UP 1.7 PERCENT
Here in the Bay Area, according to the April 2011 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA increased 1.7% from March ’11 to April ’11, down 39.5% from a peak in May 2006 and down 5.5% year-over-year (YOY), still a steady slide from the 18.3% gain reported last May and the fifth consecutive month of year-over-year declines, as reported in a SocketSite.com article.
WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU
As a home seller , it’s nice to see reports of rising home prices after multiple months of “bad news”. However, the data may not be as rosy as it appears to be. National real estate surveys including the Home Price Index and the Case-Shiller Index are flawed for everyday buyers and sellers.
The biggest flaw is “age”. Both the Home Price Index and the Case-Shiller Index report on a near 2-month delay.
This week, the calendar turns to July. Yet, we’re still discussing housing news from April. The housing market of 60 days ago was very different from the housing market of today. Mortgage rates are different, market drivers are different, and the pool of buyers is likely different, too.
We can’t discuss today’s housing market with “April” in mind. The data is irrelevant.
Another flaw is that both reports are national in scope. Real estate, by contrast, is local.
When we cite the Home Price Index or the Case-Shiller Index, for example, and say “home values rose 0.8% in April”, we’re just giving a national average. On the local level, some markets rose by more, some rose by less, and others actually fell.
People buy homes on a specific block of a specific street in a specific neighborhood. Data for homes like that can’t be captured in a national survey.
The group that gets the most value from the Home Price Index and Case-Shiller is Wall Street and policy-makers. The indices do a fair job of reporting how housing behaves as a whole, but for individuals concerned with buying and selling homes, the best place to find real-time, accurate data is from a real estate professional.
I know Marin County real estate, track its performance and inventory. Feel free to contact me whether you are thinking of buying or selling your very own piece of Marin.
About the author: The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi. I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789. I help people move in and out of Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.
I am here to help you make the smartest real estate move and build wealth, providing you with reliable real estate information and advice you can trust.
My knowledge and passion for Marin County are equaled by my commitment to helping you successfully navigate the process of buying and selling a home. My business model enables me to provide superior service and a better client experience. I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live. I know and love Marin County!