May’s data for the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices were positive for the housing market. The 10-City and 20-City Composites were both up 2.2% in May over April, after being up 1.3% each in April over March.
Only three cities – Boston, Charlotte and Detroit – saw annual rates of change worsen in May. The other 17 cities and both composites saw an improvement in this statistic. Furthermore, there are now 12 cities where the annual rates of change are positive – Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Miami, Minneapolis, Portland, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa and Washington DC – improving over last month’s report of 10 such cities.
On a monthly basis, all 20 cities and both Composites rose in May over April. We have observed two consecutive months of increasing home prices and improvements in monthly and annual returns across many markets; however, the two months occurred in the spring, which is the seasonally strong buying period. This trend must continue throughout the summer and into the fall before we know the housing market has bottomed.