Great News For Housing!
Stocks are trading near unchanged levels and Mortgage Bonds are higher so far this morning.
The Case Shiller Home Price Index for December came in up 13.4% year over year. This was a strong report, but we do have to remember that the data is a bit dated because this report tracks closed transactions for December, which was ahead of some of the cold weather issues that have occurred in January and February. Before taking seasonal adjustments into account, the 20-city index was down 0.1% month over month for the second straight month. After seasonal adjustments, the report was up 0.8%. Robert Shiller was interviewed on CNBC following the release and said that he felt now was a good time to buy a home. He cited that supply is down, affordability is still good, rates are still low, and that he still expects appreciation this year, albeit slower appreciation.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released their House Price Index for December, and the number was stronger than anticipated. Home prices rose by 0.8%, which was higher than estimates of 0.3% and better than last month’s 0.1%. Annual prices rose 7.7%. Home prices are still appreciating, but at a slower pace. Remember, the FHFA measures home prices with conforming conventional loans. www.fhfa.gov