Both composites of the Case-Shiller Home Price Index registered declines in April, according to new data released today , but the rates of decline were an improvement from March’s numbers. Prices for the 10-City Composite fell 2.2 percent in April compared to 2.9 percent in March; the 20-City Composite saw a negative rate of 1.9 percent compared to 2.6 percent the previous month. On a month-to-month basis, both indices saw prices go up by 1.3 percent.
In addition, 18 of the 20 metropolitan areas surveyed saw annual returns rise from March to April, with none posting new lows. New York and Detroit were the only cities with month-to-month declines.
Annually, Phoenix registered the greatest individual increase at 8.6 percent, while Atlanta went the other direction, showing a 17 percent decrease in annual returns.
“We were hoping to see some improvement in April. First, changes in home prices are very seasonal, with the spring and early summer being the most active buying months,” says David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. “Second, while not as strong and we believe less reliable, the seasonally adjusted data were also largely positive, a possible sign that the increase in prices may be due to more than just the expected surge in spring sales.
“Additionally, the last few months have seen increased sales and housing starts amidst a lot of talk of better housing markets, so some price gains were anticipated.”
To read the rest of the Case-Shiller report, click here .