S&P/Case-Shiller released the monthly Home Price Indices for April (“April” is a 3 month average of February, March and April prices).
This release includes prices for 20 individual cities, two composite indices (for 10 cities and 20 cities) and the monthly National index.
The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, reported a 14.6% annual gain in April, up from 13.3% in the previous month. The 10-City Composite annual increase came in at 14.4%, up from 12.9% in the previous month. The 20-City Composite posted a 14.9% year-over-year gain, up from 13.4% in the previous month.
Phoenix, San Diego, and Seattle reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities in April. Phoenix led the way with a 22.3% year-over-year price increase, followed by San Diego with a 21.6% increase and Seattle with a 20.2% increase. All 20 cities reported higher price increases in the year ending April 2021 versus the year ending March 2021.
Before seasonal adjustment, the U.S. National Index posted a 2.1% month-over-month increase, while the 10-City and 20-City Composites both posted increases of 1.9% and 2.1% respectively in April.
After seasonal adjustment, the U.S. National Index posted a month-over-month increase of 1.6%, and the 10-City and 20-City Composites both posted increases of 1.4% and 1.6% respectively. In April, all 20 cities reported increases before and after seasonal adjustments.
“Housing prices accelerated their surge in April 2021,” says Craig J. Lazzara, Managing Director and Global Head of Index Investment Strategy at S&P DJI. “The National Composite Index marked its eleventh consecutive month of accelerating prices with a 14.6% gain from year-ago levels, up from 13.3% in March. This acceleration is also reflected in the 10- and 20-City Composites (up 14.4% and 14.9%, respectively). The market’s strength is broadly-based: all 20 cities rose, and all 20 gained more in the 12 months ended in April than they had gained in the 12 months ended in March.
“April’s performance was truly extraordinary. The 14.6% gain in the National Composite is literally the highest reading in more than 30 years of S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller data. Housing prices in all 20 cities rose; price gains in all 20 cities accelerated; price gains in all 20 cities were in the top quartile of historical performance. In 15 cities, price gains were in top decile. Five cities – Charlotte, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, and Seattle – joined the National Composite in recording their all-time highest 12- month gains.
“We have previously suggested that the strength in the U.S. housing market is being driven in part by reaction to the COVID pandemic, as potential buyers move from urban apartments to suburban homes. April’s data continue to be consistent with this hypothesis. This demand surge may simply represent an acceleration of purchases that would have occurred anyway over the next several years. Alternatively, there may have been a secular change in locational preferences, leading to a permanent shift in the demand curve for housing. More time and data will be required to analyze this question
The first graph shows the nominal seasonally adjusted Composite 10, Composite 20 and National indices (the Composite 20 was started in January 2000).
The Composite 10 index is up 1.4% in April (SA) from March.
The Composite 20 index is up 1.6% (SA) in April.
The National index is 35% above the bubble peak (SA), and up 1.6% (SA) in April. The National index is up 80% from the post-bubble low set in February 2012 (SA).
The Composite 10 SA is up 14.4% compared to April 2020. The Composite 20 SA is up 14.9% year-over-year.
The National index SA is up 14.6% year-over-year.
Price increases were above expectations. I’ll have more later.