U.S. House Prices In November 2014

S&P Case-Shiller Home Prices declined in November, with the 20-city composite index decreasing by 0.2% (not seasonally adjusted). Year over year, the 20-City Composite is up 4.3%. This is a slower annual rate of growth than the 4.5% in October and the 13.7% rate in November 2013.

Case-Shiller Change

The national house price level is now roughly equal to where it stood in November 2004.

Case-Shiller Index

Of the 20 cities tracked in the index, Los Angeles has had the greatest increase in home prices since 2000, while Detroit has been the only city where prices have declined over the past 15 years.

Case-Shiller Cities

From a year ago, house prices have increased the most in Las Vegas, where they rose 7.7%. Cleveland has had the slowest rate of annual increase, rising only 0.6%.

Case-Shiller Cities Change

Dallas and Denver are the only cities whose prices have increased beyond their pre-recession peak. Las Vegas remains the furthest below its peak.

Case-Shiller Table

The U.S.Federal Housing Finance Agency saw its national house prices increase 0.8% in November (not seasonally adjusted), and increasing 5.3% from a year ago.

The FHFA HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages either sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

FHFA Change

The U.S. index is 4.5% below its March 2007 peak and is roughly the same as its Octoberr 2005 index level.

FHFA Index

Of the 9 different geographic census divisions that FHFA tracks, house prices have increased the most year over year in the Pacific and increased the least in the New England region.

FHFA Divisions

New Home Sales At Annual Rate Of 481k In December

U.S. new home sales in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 481k. That is up 11.6% from December’s revised rate of 431k. The national rate of new home sales in December is up 8.8% from a year ago.

New Home Sales Change

Net Home Sales

New home sales by region, seasonally adjusted annual rate, in December:

  • Northeast: 43k from 28k last month.
  • Midwest: 54k from 61k last month.
  • South: 253k from 215k last month.
  • West: 131k from 127k last month.

New Home Sales Regions

The median sales price of new houses sold in December was $298.1k, down from $291.6k in November.

Change in Median Price

Median Price

The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of December was 219k. This represents a supply of 5.5 months at the current sales rate.

Months Supply

New and existing home sales:

Annual Rate Split

January 2015 Consumer Confidence

U.S. consumer confidence decreased to a reading of 102.9 (1985=100) in January, as published this morning by The Conference Board. This compares to a revised reading of 93.1 in December.

The Present Situation Index component increased to 112.6 from 99.9, while the Expectations Index component increased to 96.4 from 88.5.

Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, said: “Consumer confidence rose sharply in January, and is now at its highest level since August 2007 (Index, 105.6). A more positive assessment of current business and labor market conditions contributed to the improvement in consumers’ view of the present situation. Consumers also expressed a considerably higher degree of optimism regarding the short-term outlook for the economy and labor market, as well as their earnings.”

Consumer Confidence

The U.S. consumer sentiment index, reported by the University of Michigan, increased to 98.2 in January from 93.6 in December.

Consumer Sentiment

The recent trend:

Both Confidence

Existing Home Sales Climb To Annual Rate Of 5.04 Million In December

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 2.4% in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million. This annual rate is 3.5% higher than the 4.87 million-unit level in December 2013.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says sales picked up in December to close a 2014 that got off to a sluggish start but showed encouraging signs of activity the second half of the year. “Home sales improved over the summer once inventory increased, prices moderated and economic growth accelerated,” he said. “Sales were measurably better in the second half – up 8 percent compared to the first six months of the year.”

“A drop in housing supply in December raises some affordability concerns in the months ahead as minimal selection and the potential for faster price appreciation could offset the demand from buyers encouraged by a stronger economy and sub-4 percent interest rates,” says Yun. “Housing costs – both rents and home prices – continue to outpace wages and are burdensome for potential buyers trying to save for a downpayment while looking for available homes in their price range.”

Existing Home Sales Change

The existing home sales rate in 2 out of 4 U.S. regions in December:

  • Northeast: 0.66 million from 0.68 million month prior.
  • Midwest: 1.09 million from 1.13 million month prior.
  • South: 2.17 million from 2.09 million month prior.
  • West: 1.12 million from 1.02 million month prior.

Existing Home Sales

Total housing inventory at the end of December decreased 11.1% to 1.85 million existing homes available for sale. That represents a 4.4 month supply at the current sales pace. Unsold inventory is 0.5% lower than a year ago, when there were 1.86 million existing homes available for sale.

Existing Home Sales Inventory

The median time on market for all homes was 66 days in December. That is up from 65 days in November. Short sales were on the market for a median of 98 days, while foreclosures typically sold in 61 days, and non-distressed homes took 66 days. 31% of homes sold in December were on the market for less than a month.

The national median existing home price for all housing types was $209,500, up 6.0% from a year ago.

Existing Home Sales Price

CFNAI Drops To -0.05 In December

The Chicago Fed’s National Activity Index (CFNAI) was a reading of -0.05 in December, down from November’s revised reading of +0.92. The negative figure indicates that the index is below  its historical trend. The index’s 3-month moving average is at +0.39.

40 of the 85 individual indicators made positive contributions to the CFNAI in December, while 45 made negative contributions. 33 indicators improved from November to December, while 52 indicators deteriorated. Of the indicators that improved, 14 made negative contributions.

The Production and Income index component registered -0.12 from +0.71 last month. Employment and Hours was +0.16 from +0.21, Personal Consumption and Housing was -0.12 from -0.03, and Sales, Orders, and Inventories was +0.03 from +0.03.

CFNAI Components


Production and Income

Employment and Hours

Consumption and Housing

Sales Orders and Inventories

The CFNAI is a weighted average of 85 indicators of national economic activity drawn from four broad categories of data: 1) production and income; 2) employment, unemployment, and hours; 3) personal consumption and housing; and 4) sales, orders, and inventories. Each of these data series measures some aspect of overall macroeconomic activity. 

It is constructed to have an average value of zero and a standard deviation of one. Since economic activity tends toward trend growth rate over time, a positive index reading corresponds to growth above trend and a negative index reading corresponds to growth below trend.

Weekly Initial Jobless Claims At 307k

Initial jobless claims for the week ending January 17 were a seasonally adjusted 307k, up from the prior week’s revised reading of 317k. Not seasonally adjusted, jobless claims for the week were 381k.

Jobless Claims

Individual states that had changes in claims of more than 1k (not seasonally adjusted):


The 4-week moving average of initial jobless claims was 305k.

Jobless Claims 4W

The number of unemployment insurance recipients, or continuing claims, for regular state programs was 2.443 million, up from the previous week’s revised reading of 2.428 million.

UI Recipients

The insured unemployment rate, which is the number of unemployment insurance recipients as a share of covered employment, was 1.83%, upn from 1.82% the week prior.

Insured Unemployment Rate

90.47% of all U.S. jobs are covered by state unemployment insurance programs.

Covered Employment

Of the 8.687 million Americans currently unemployed, 28.12% receive unemployment insurance.

UI Recipients Share

Jobless claims and the unemployment rate:

Labor Market