July’s data for the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices were somewhat positive for the housing market. The 10- and 20-City Composites were each up 0.9% and 18 of the 20 cities covered by the indices were up in July over June. Las Vegas was down 0.2% and Phoenix fell by 0.1%.
The annual rates of change (which remove any seasonal effect on price changes), again, showed something slightly positive for home prices. Fourteen of the 20 cities and both monthly Composites saw their annual growth rates improve. Last month, we saw similar results, with 13 of the cities and both Composites’ rates improving.
This means that home prices versus the same month last year were better than seen in previous reports; although we continue to point out this only means that for most they were only less negative – Detroit and Washington DC had respective annual growth rates of +1.2% and +0.3% as of July 2011. The housing market has a long way to go before it is in true recovery, but improvement in annual rates of return are one of many statistics to follow to get a complete view on housing market momentum.