As they have for several months, home prices continued to gain in July, but at a slowing rate, according to the closely watched S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index in its latest, September report(see chart, which is seasonally unadjusted).
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the composite index of 20 metropolitan areas actually fell 0.1 percent in July from June, following a June rise of 0.2 %.
Most observers drew the obvious conclusion, tying this softening to the expiration of the home buyer tax credit, but it almost certainly also reflects the winding down of the stimulus, and the slowing of the recovery generally.
July’s report showed price gains slowing not only month-to-month but also year-over-year, in both the Boston area and in much of the nation.
Many observers — including this one — believe that prices will continue to drift “sideways” well into 2011, until the jobs picture and consumer confidence begin to show some solid improvement.
- U.S. home prices dip, seen stabilizing (financialpost.com)
- U.S. Home Prices Seen Stabilizing Without Tax Credit (nytimes.com)