US Home Prices Losing MomentumFebruary 25, 2014
The Case-Shiller Home Price Index has now had back to back monthly declines for the first time since Oct-Nov 2012. Granted the declines were small but we are seeing other evidence that housing prices lost some momentum at the end of last year. For example, one way we like to track momentum is by using diffusion indices. In the case of the home price index we measure the number of cities that have seen price increases over 1-month, 3-month, and 12-month periods. We then plot this on a scale of 0-20 (if all 20 cities are showing price increases the diffusion index would register a 20 and vice versa). Currently, the 1-month diffusion index is down to 7 which is the lowest level since February 2012. The 3-month index is down to 9 which is also the lowest level since February 2012. The good news is the 12-month is holding firm at 20.