Monday, November 30, 2009

By Phil Izzo

The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home-price index, a closely watched gauge of U.S. home prices, rose 0.3% in September from August in the fifth straight monthly increase, as prices gains slowed and remain below year-earlier levels.

For the 18th straight month, no area in the 20-city index posted a year-over-year price gain. September also marks the quarterly release of the broader National Home Price Index, which posted its second consecutive quarterly increase though it remains 8.9% lower than a year earlier.

“The gains in the most recent month are more modest than during the seasonally strong summer months. Fewer cities saw month to month improvements in September than in August in both seasonally adjusted and unadjusted figures,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s.

Analyst Dan Grenhaus of Miller Tabak + Co. said now that evidence of a bottom is clear, the question is what happens now. “The issue going forward relates to how far prices can accelerate given the inventory overhang, level of shadow inventory, continued foreclosures, persistently high unemployment rate and tighter credit standards which require greater down payments and higher FICO scores (as well as removing one’s ability to simply assert they make “X” dollars without proving it),” he said.

Just 10 of the 20 areas saw monthly price gains in September, that’s down from 17 gainers in August. Minneapolis posted the strongest monthly increase at 1.8%, and hard-hit Detroit also managed a 1.8% monthly gain.

Cleveland fared the worst for September with a 1.6% monthly decline, but prices there are only down 3.7% from a year earlier. Las Vegas and Phoenix continue to see annual declines in excess of 20%.

* See the full S&P/Case-Shiller report.
* Read the full story.

Below, see data from the 20 metro areas Case-Shiller tracks, sortable by name, level, monthly change and year-over-year change — just click the column headers to re-sort.

(About the numbers: The Case Shiller indices have a base value of 100 in January 2000. So a current index value of 150 translates to a 50% appreciation rate since January 2000 for a typical home located within the metro market.)
Home Prices, by Metro Area

Metro Area September 2009 Change from August Year-over-year change
Atlanta 111.26 0.0% -9.3%
Boston 155.62 -0.2% -3.3%
Charlotte 119.84 -0.7% -8.1%
Chicago 132.13 1.2% -10.6%
Cleveland 105.75 -1.6% -3.7%
Dallas 120.57 -0.7% -1.2%
Denver 129.45 -0.5% -1.2%
Detroit 72.9 1.8% -19.2%
Las Vegas 104.82 -0.9% -28.6%
Los Angeles 167.93 0.8% -9.0%
Miami 149.69 0.5% -16.2%
Minneapolis 124.96 1.8% -11.2%
New York 174.38 -0.3% -9.0%
Phoenix 109.26 0.8% -21.8%
Portland 149.72 -0.5% -11.8%
San Diego 154.76 0.9% -5.7%
San Francisco 134.16 1.3% -7.8%
Seattle 148.94 -0.4% -13.8%
Tampa 142.57 -0.6% -16.7%
Washington 180.45 0.5% -5.0%

Source: Standard & Poor’s and FiservData

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