Hope For Homebuilders? Home Prices Jumped 6.3% In December (XHB)

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From Jill Mislinski: With today’s release of the December S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, we learned that seasonally adjusted home prices for the benchmark 20-city index were up 0.60% month over month.

The seasonally adjusted national index year-over-year change has hovered between 4.2% and 6.2% for the last two plus years. Today’s S&P/Case-Shiller National Home Price Index (nominal) reached another new high.

The adjacent column chart illustrates the month-over-month change in the seasonally adjusted 20-city index, which tends to be the most closely watched of the Case-Shiller series. It was up 0.60% from the previous month. The nonseasonally adjusted index was up 6.3% year-over-year.

Investing.com had forecast a 0.6% MoM seasonally adjusted increase and 6.4% YoY nonseasonally adjusted for the 20-city series.

Here is an excerpt of the analysis from today’s Standard & Poor’s press release.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, reported a 6.3% annual gain in December, up from 6.1% in the previous month. The 10-City Composite annual increase came in at 6.0%, no change from the previous month. The 20-City Composite posted a 6.3% year-over-year gain, down from 6.4% in the previous month.

“The rise in home prices should be causing the same nervous wonder aimed at the stock market after its recent bout of volatility,” says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Across the 20 cities covered by S&P Corelogic Case Shiller Home Price Indices, the average increase from the financial crisis low is 62%; over the same period, inflation was 12.4%. None of the cities covered in this release saw real, inflation-adjusted prices fall in 2017. The National Index, which reached its low point in 2012, is up 38% in six years after adjusting for inflation, a real annual gain of 5.3%. The National Index’s average annual real gain from 1976 to 2017 was 1.3%. Even considering the recovery from the financial crisis, we are experiencing a boom in home prices.” [Link to source]

The chart below is an overlay of the Case-Shiller 10- and 20-City Composite Indexes along with the national index since 1987, the first year that the 10-City Composite was tracked. Note that the 20-City, which is probably the most closely watched of the three, dates from 2000. We’ve used the seasonally adjusted data for this illustration.

Home Price Index

Home Price Index

The next chart shows the year-over-year Case-Shiller series, again using the seasonally adjusted data.

Home Price Index

Here is the same year-over-year overlay adjusted for inflation with the Consumer Price Index owners’ equivalent rent of residences.

Home Price Index

For a long-term perspective on home prices, here is a look at the seasonally and inflation-adjusted Case-Shiller price index from 1953, the first year that monthly data is available. Because the CPI owners’ equivalent rent of residences didn’t start until 1983, we’ve used the broader seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index.

Home Price Index since 1953

To get an even better idea of the trend in housing prices over long time periods, we compare the change in the seasonally-adjusted Case-Shiller Home Price Index and the Consumer Price Index since 1953.


For additional perspectives on residential real estate, here is the complete list of our monthly updates:


The SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB) was unchanged in premarket trading Thursday. Year-to-date, XHB has declined -8.40%, versus a 1.79% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

XHB currently has an ETF Daily News SMART Grade of B (Buy), and is ranked #22 of 39 ETFs in the Consumer-Focused ETFs category.


This article is brought to you courtesy of Advisor Perspectives.