Home Prices Weaken as the Third Quarter of 2011 Ends According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices

Data through September 2011, released today by S&P Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, show that nationally home prices did not register a significant change in the third quarter of 2011, with the U.S. National Home Price Index up by only 0.1% from its second quarter level. To access click here: S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices November 2011 Release

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  1. Stephen F. Thode says:

    Have the “spin doctors” taken over the monthly press release? This has to be the most confusing, convoluted and inaccurate monthly release in some time. The release contradicts your own data.

    According to your data, the Composite US Housing Price Index (SA) stood at 127.78 at Q3 2011 – the lowest level since Q3 2002, not “early 2003” as your press release states. Where, on page 3 of the release, did you get a reading for Q3 2011 of 130.39?

    And where did you get the data to support the idea that the composite index was up in Q3 2011 compared to Q2 2011. By your own data, the index fell more than 1%.

    Confused and disappointed!

    • Maureen Maitland says:

      Professor Thode,

      Since we first began publishing these data in 2006, we have always used the not-seasonally-adjusted series, so the information within the release does not contradict our data. That is disclosed on the fourth page of the release.

      All data are all readily available on our Web site http://www.homeprice.standardandpoors.com.

      As of 2011Q3 the national index level was 130.39, which is about where it stood with 2003Q1’s 130.48 print. Hence our statement that prices are back to their first quarter 2003 levels.

      The index level for 2011Q2 was 130.24, which is where we derived the 0.1% growth rate (130.39/130.24). We publish all of our growth rates to one decimal place.

      We do recognize that some people look at the seasonally adjusted data. However, in early 2010 we realized that the unprecedented volatility in the market was causing the seasonal factors for home prices to become more volatile and unpredictable. As such, we determined that we were going to use not-seasonally adjusted monthly changes combined with annual rates of change to determine and discuss the momentum in the housing market. That paper can also be found on our Web site under Index Research.

      I hope this clears up your confusion.

      Regards, Maureen Maitland

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