House Prices Are Still In A Bear MarketApril 29, 2014
While house prices rose a solid 0.8% on a seasonally adjusted basis according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index in February, house prices were unchanged according to the not seasonally adjusted series. February tends to have either the largest or the second largest difference between the two series. However, this latest data point shows that this is the largest dispersion for the month of February in the two series’s history by nearly 12%. In fact, the dispersion between the seasonally adjusted series and the not seasonally adjusted series has continuously grown wider especially since housing prices peaked in 2006-2007. Expect the difference between the seasonally adjusted and not seasonally adjusted series to set another record in March.
If one looks at the not seasonally adjusted series, then house prices are still basically in a bear market (off 19.9% from the top) and have had four straight months of price declines. The good news is the price declines have been very moderate. Dallas house prices made another all-time price high in February and are now over 5% higher than the price highs made in 2007. Las Vegas remains the furthest from their peak price as homes there are still of by nearly 45%.