Tuesday, July 28, 2009

S&P/Case-Shiller: May 2009 report

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report for May 2009 was released today. The report says "although still negative, the annual rate of decline of the 10-City and 20-City Composites improved for the fourth consecutive month in 2009." Left unsaid [again] was that some of the lowest mortgage rates on record were available in April, rates that have increased since.

“The pace of descent in home price values appears to be slowing” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s. “There is a clear inflection point in the year-over-year data, due to four consecutive months of improved rates of return, after the steep decline that began in the fall of 2005. In addition to the 10-City and 20-City Composites, 17 of the 20 metro areas also saw improvement in their annual returns compared to those of April. Looking at the monthly data, 13 of the 20 metro areas reported positive returns; and the 10-City and 20-City Composites reported positive returns for the first time since the summer of 2006. To put it in perspective, these are the first time we have seen broad increases in home prices in 34 months. This could be an indication that home price declines are finally stabilizing”.

“While many indicators are showing signs of life in the U.S. housing market, we should remember that on a year-over-year basis home prices are still down about 17% on average across all metro areas, so we likely do have a way to go before we see sustained home price appreciation.” Mr. Blitzer added.”

While the media seems to be breaking out the champagne, let's not forget, as pointed out here, that "prices are still high relative to incomes and rents." Homes in the DC area are still about 61% more expensive than May 2000. YoY, DC area prices fell 14.93% and, from April to May, prices increased 1.31%. The DC area's home price index is close to that of February 2004.

The charts below reflect home price data for the Washington, DC MSA.



Thursday, July 23, 2009

MRIS June 2009 Housing Report

Weber Performer

I'm embarrassed to say it, but I've become such a suburbanite. We're still unpacking the house and are still adjusting to new ways of doing / storing things and yet, that hasn't stopped me from obsessing about my new toy: a Weber grill, Performer model. I've got the tools, I've attached the cute little propane gas tank, and Friday night, after a quick trip to Costco for beer and chicken, I'm firing it up for a test grill in preparation for the grandkids visit on Sunday.

MRIS released June's data for signed sales contracts for existing home and condos in the District during May 2009 almost two weeks ago. My interpretatio of the data is that although sales volume is up, prices are lower than the same period last year. In contrast to May, the condo market was better: prices up 2.38%, sales volume up 5.34%. Sales of high prices homes, those costing more than $1M, continue to skew the market; 43 homes - 12.8% of all home sales - sold for more than $1MM.

June's data are radically different than May's:

  • Dollar volume is up 4.36%. That of condos ticked upwards by 2.38% and grew 5.52% for homes.
  • Sales volume grew 11.27%. Condo unit sales increased 5.34% while homes rose 16.67%.
  • However, average prices fell 6.21%. Condo prices were 2.81% lower, homes fell 9.55%.
  • At June's sales rate, there is a 6.11 month's supply of units on the market. For homes, 5.52 months. Compared to June 2008, the number of condos listed grew 3.75% and fell 2.16% for homes.

Detailed Data

Average Sales Price

Dollar Volume

Transaction Volume

Friday, July 10, 2009

MRIS June 2009 Sales Report: Preliminary data

MRIS released June's data for sales of existing homes in the District today. A huge number of properties sold for more than $1MM, 51 of 612 sales. Key points [YoY]:

  • Dollar volume up 4.49%
  • Average price is down 6.25%, median is down 1.67%
  • Unit sales volume [aggregate] up 11.27%
  • Home unit sales up 16.67%
  • Condo unit sales up 5.34%

Sales prices were 92.51% of list. At June's sales rate, the condo market has a 6.07 month supply listed for sale, which is actually a sign of a normal market.

Analysis forthcoming.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

MRIS May 2009 Housing Report

It's been almost a month since MRIS released its data for signed sales contracts for existing home and condos in the District during May 2009. Since June's data will be released in 5 days, here's an abbreviated synopsis of May's data. The condo market is on life support. Home prices are being propped up by the high end market; 27 homes - 10% of all home sales - sold for more than $1MM. If it weren't for those homes, I suspect average home prices would have been even lower.

In May's data we see:

  • A huge drop in dollar volume, down more than 20%. That of condos fell 29.25% YoY and dropped 16.34% for homes.
  • Overall, 9.19% fewer units sold. Condos fell 20.66% while homes rose 2.67%.
  • Average prices fell 13.34%. Condo prices were 10.82% lower, homes fell 18.51%.

Detailed Data

Average Sales Price

Dollar Volume


Transaction Volume


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

S&P/Case-Shiller: April 2009 report

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report for April 2009 was released yesterday. The report says "that, although still negative, the annual decline of the 10-City and 20-City Composites improved." Left unsaid was that some of the lowest mortgage rates on record were available in April, rates that have increased since. May and June's data will be crucial to determine whether strength is really returning to the market

"The pace of decline in residential real estate slowed in April,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s. “In addition to the 10-City and 20-City Composites, 13 of the 20 metro areas also saw improvement in their annual return compared to that of March. Furthermore, every metro area, except for Charlotte, recorded an improvement in monthly returns over March. While one month’s data cannot determine if a turnaround has begun; it seems that some stabilization may be appearing in some of the regions. We are entering the seasonally strong period in the housing market, so it will take some time to determine if a recovery is really here."

YoY, DC area prices fell 16.88% and, from March to April, prices increased 0.78%. The DC area's home price index is close to that of December 2003 and January 2004.

The charts below reflect home price data for the Washington, DC MSA.