The Truth Behind Rising Home Prices

In April 2014, home prices were shown to climb at a slower-than-expected rate, according to the latest Case-Shiller report.  That said, the report goes on to show far higher price gains than other reports project.

The Case-Shiller report appears slower to reflect the slower pace of home price growth.  Here is the chart from Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Macroeconomics which indicates Case-Shiller home prices are running much higher than the NAR median home price figures.

What has been skewing the average home prices higher?

Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Macroeconomics has continued to argue that the declining share of cheaper foreclosed home sales is the lead contributing factor in the increased average home price.

He explained this rationale back in April:

As foreclosed homes typically sell for much less than regular private sales, a decline in the proportion of foreclosure sales will raise reported prices. The correlation between changes in the proportion of foreclosures and the rate of increase of Case-Shiller home prices is not perfect, but it is real.

The current state of home sales

$180,000 was the median sales price of all U.S. homes in May (RealityTrac).  Additionally, the median price of distressed sales remained at $120,000 - 37% lower than non-distressed properties, at $190,000.

The decline of distressed home sales have been declining alongside non-distressed properties. Both short sales and distressed sales accounted for 14.3% of all sales in May, which is down from 15.6% in April (and down 15.9% from last year).

Home prices were flat in April (on the month), through up 5.9% from a year ago, according to the latest FHFA home price report.

Questions on what these figures mean for you?  Don't hesitate to send us an email or give us a call - we'll be happy to help!

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