NEW YORK CITY-Home prices across the US had a better showing this past November than they’d managed the month prior, S&P Dow Jones Indices said Tuesday. The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices showed that the price tags rose 4.5% for the 10-City Composite and 5.5% for the 20-City Composite in the 12 months that ended Nov. 30, 2012, a better year-over-year gain than the previous month’s showing. The year-over-year increases marked the 10th consecutive month of gains in prices for homes ranging from single-family houses to condominiums and co-ops.
“Housing is clearly recovering,” says David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, in a release. “Prices are rising as are both new and existing home sales.”
The sole exception among the cities in the 20-city composite was New York City, where prices dipped 1.1% year-over-year. Speaking on Bloomberg TV, Karl Case, cofounder of the Case-Shiller indices, blamed a dip in Wall Street bonuses for the falling-off in New York City prices.
“The better annual price changes also point to seasonal weakness rather than a reversal in the housing market,” Blitzer says. “Further evidence that the weakness is seasonal is seen in the seasonally adjusted figures: only New York saw prices fall on a seasonally adjusted basis, while Cleveland was flat.” Moreover, 10 cities in the 20-city composite saw monthly price increases in November, compared to seven in October.
The indices show shifts in regional patterns, as well. The Southwest cities of Las Vegas and Phoenix are staging “a strong comeback,” with Miami and Tampa, FL close behind. The Sun Belt states and California are also coming on strong, while the Northeast and Midwest are lagging somewhat. New York City, Boston and Chicago have suffered monthly declines in six of the past 12 months, according to a release.
Commenting on the latest Case-Shiller results, IHS Global Insights put them in the context of rising consumer spending. The Lexington, MA-based research firm noted that household real estate wealth increased by over $1 trillion during the first three quarters of last year, according to the Federal Reserve’s Flow of Funds—“a plus for consumer spending.”
Further, IHS cites CoreLogic figures indicating that higher home prices lifted more than 1.4 million homeowners above the underwater mark during the same time period, marking “a plus for homeowners wanting to trade up to a larger home. Higher home prices are boosting property tax receipts—a plus for strapped state and local governments. And higher home prices make it more profitable to build new homes—a plus for builders, who are responding by ramping up on housing starts.”