Last month, we reported that the Case-Shiller Price Index was likely to break a double-digit pace in the next month, and Tuesday’s data confirms that prediction. All three Case-Shiller price indexes rose by double-digits from one year ago. The 10- and 20-City indexes increased by 10.3 and 10.9 percent, respectively, in March while the national index rose 10.2 percent from the first quarter of 2012.
NAR reports the median price of all existing homes that have sold in the given time period while Case-Shiller’s weighted repeat-sales index only compares price changes among homes for which there is a previous sale, examining the difference in price for property-pairs only. Also, because Case-Shiller data relies on public records, the data reported for March 2013 is actually a moving average of sales from January, February, and March 2013. Because home sales among higher priced properties have been growing more than among lower price tiers and because the Case-Shiller report factors in older data in this market of rapid price growth the NAR median is outpacing the Case-Shiller index.
While the NAR median price does not measure change in price for the same properties, it can be computed much more quickly than a weighted repeat sales index, thus information is available sooner, and as can be seen in the chart above comparing several price measures, the trends in the data tend to be similar, so the NAR median price is a valuable early indicator of other housing price data.
NAR’s median home price began showing consistent double-digit gains in December 2012 while another series, CoreLogic’s House Price Index, showed double-digit gains as early as February.
By city, Case-Shiller data showed double-digit gains for home prices in 12 of 20 cities and showed gains exceeding 20 percent in Las Vegas, Phoenix, and San Francisco. Only New York saw price gains less than 4 percent.