Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Year-over-year home prices up 3.8% in April

But that was affected by the tax credit that ended on April 30th:
Home prices rose 0.8% in April compared with March and were up 3.8% from a year ago, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index of 20 major housing markets.

That good news is tempered by a couple of factors. First, the one-year comparison was against a low-ebb mark. In April 2009, prices were just above a five-year low. Overall, prices are off 30% from their peak.

Secondly, the improvement came during a time when the federal government was heavily subsidizing home sales through an $8,000 homebuyer's tax credit. That credit is about to expire.

"Other housing data confirm the large impact, and likely near-future pullback, of the federal program," said David Blitzer, a spokesman for Standard and Poor's.

Once the tax credit fully expires, home prices are likely to take a beating, according to Pat Newport, a housing market analyst for IHS Global Insight.


  1. I STILL find myself irritated by the unquestioned assumption by most in the media and government that rising prices are "good news." Just like stocks, higher prices are good for sellers, and bad for buyers. Jim A.

  2. "Refinancing drove total U.S. mortgage applications to an eight-month peak, as loan rates fell to or near record lows, but demand to buy homes sank toward 13-year lows last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday."

  3. @Jim A. That's 'good news' because it means the economy is growing ... And when the economy is growing, there are more opportunities for everyone ... including more work to go around and higher wages/salaries ... to buy those higher prices homes. Bad news would be prices going down, since that would mean the economy is shrinking and you're more likely to get laid off ... and not find a replacement job for a long time. So yeah, the rise in prices is the bad thing it seems at first even if you are looking to buy ... 'cause without a job, you're not going to be buying anything ... no matter how cheaply it's priced!

  4. * So yeah, the rise in prices is NOT the bad thing it seems at first ...

  5. Lance, If we learn nothing else from the bubbles over the last 15 years in the stock and RE markest, it is that peoples PERCEPTIONS of of future economic performance are poor PREDICTORS of future economic performance. -Jim A.

  6. I can't wait to see what the pending sales numbers for June do inside DC proper. In particular, in the "hot" up-and-coming neighborhoods. The tax break certainly subsidized prices.