Home Prices in October — Moving Toward the Trend Line


The Case-Shiller (CS) National Home Price Index, released by S&P Dow Jones Indices, rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 11.0% in October. The Home Price Index from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.0%. Both indexes show monthly volatility but the trend has been relatively flat over 2014 and 2015.

House prices declined at the fastest pace in late 2008 as the housing bust approached its bottom. From 2009 through 2011 the pace of decline slowed as the housing market limped along the bottom of the bust. Price declines turned to increases in 2012 and 2013 as the housing recovery gained momentum. The relative stability in the trend in 2014 and 2015 represents a housing market settling back toward long term sustainable trend growth rates.


Figure 2 shows the FHFA and S&P/Case-Shiller price index levels from 1991 to 2015. The trend lines (dashed) indicate that the stabilization of price growth shown in Figure 1 coincides with house prices returning to their long term trend path.


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