- The National Association of Realtors Research data shows that the median price of single family homes rose 9.4 percent compared to one year ago. Yes, more sales of pricier homes this year compared to last year is partially responsible for that result. Still, the trend for home values is up according to NAR’s data.
- Case Shiller data shows a similar trend, but lags a bit behind the NAR data. You can see this visually in the graph above, and this can also be demonstrated numerically.
- NAR data began to show a year-over-year decline in house prices as early as June 2006. Case Shiller data showed a negative year-over-year growth rate starting in January 2007.
- In March 2012, NAR data began to show year-over-year growth in home prices again, and data has showed 5 consecutive increases through July 2012. Case Shiller’s most recent reading in May 2012 showed a less than one percent year-over-year decline — an improvement over rates of change from previous months, but still not an increase.
- If history is any guide, year-over-year growth in the Case Shiller data may be seen as early as Tuesday’s (8/28/12) release.
As a five year old my elderly great-aunts told me that “A little learning is a dangerous thing”: being certain without all the facts can lead to the wrong conclusion. This was aptly illustrated by the sound bites accompanying the latest Case-Shiller Index release. The Index was reported as falling in January by 0.8% from its December reading and as down 3.8% from January 2011. The headlines announced that the housing market was off to a “rocky start” for the year as prices reached new lows. As a friend of mine used to say, “We gave them the facts—just not all the facts.” Put differently, the coverage was wrong, although the facts were presented in the Case-Shiller news release.