We had the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index released at 9am EST today. The year over year (y/y) reading came in at -1.9% (y/y), non-seasonally adjusted, versus a consensus expectation of -2.3% (y/y) and prior reading of -2.6% (y/y). The reality is that the decreasing velocity of a negative rate is not necessarily a positive thing given the pace at which housing has been moving. So even though expectations were beaten it is still not a positive sign for the housing market overall that this metric came in negative. The y/y monthly readings have been negative for that past 19 months in a row, starting in October 2010 including today’s reading, hardly anything to be “bullish housing” about.
In between that and the previous streak of negative readings on this data, we had a streak of 8 positive y/y monthly readings, starting in February 2010 and ending in September 2010. The streak before that was 37 negative y/y monthly readings, starting from January 2007 ending in October 2010. The first streak, started started in January 2007, began during the pop of the housing bubble and had an average monthly y/y reading of -10.6%, the 8 month streak of positive readings had an average monthly y/y reading of +2.6%, and the most recent streak of negative readings we are on has an average of -3.3%. Therefore, if housing is to get back into shape and help boost confidence in the economy it will more than likely need to get an average reading of at least +5% y/y monthly readings for a good streak of at least 20 months.
Some charts below to show you where we are long-term and short term, relatively speaking.