Home Price Improvements Continue Entering Fourth Quarter 2009

New data from a leading measure of U.S. home prices, the Standard & Poors/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, today pointed to a continued improvement in the annual rate of decline of housing prices. Compared to last month’s readings, the 10-City and 20-City Composites improved, marking over eight months of improvement to these statistics.

December 29, 2009

New data from a leading measure of U.S. home prices, the Standard & Poors/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, today pointed to a continued improvement in the annual rate of decline of housing prices. Compared to last month’s readings, the 10-City and 20-City Composites improved, marking over eight months of improvement to these statistics.

While the new data is cause for optimism, several factors temper the apparent trend:
• Continuing price turnarounds of earlier this year have faded. Just seven of the 20 cities in the index saw month-to-month gains.
• Housing starts remain weak.
• Fears persist that the market will be swamped by a wave of foreclosures.
• Numerous government programs for the housing market are set to expire early in 2010.

Overall, with strong sales in recent months working off much of the existing home inventory, plus a Fed with a more stable policy than in the 1980s, the net result, reports S&P/Case-Shiller, is a likelihood that prices will remain flat. 

For more, see the S&P/Case-Shiller press release.     
        
      

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