Case Shiller Home Prices: Continued Gains Amid Shutdowns

May 26, 2020
Bottom Line: Home prices nationwide rose in the first three months of the year, continuing their gains in March, despite the shutdowns for the novel coronavirus in the second half of the month. Prices began re-accelerating in late '19 and into '20 after rebalancing for the impact of tax changes in 2018. Mortgage rates were moving lower throughout the second half of 2019 and then plunged to record lows in March. Supply remained tight in most parts of the country, and demand was strong even before the shutdowns for the novel coronavirus put a higher value on single-family homes outside urban centers. Overall, the housing market has proven remarkably resilient in the face of this crisis and remains a sector likely to lead the economic recovery. Case Shiller 20-City Home Price Index ROSE by 0.47% (seasonally adjusted) in March to 223.2, compared with market expectations for an increase of 0.3%. Home prices are 3.9% ABOVE their year-ago level. Nationwide home prices are now just 8.0% ABOVE their April 2006 peak, near late 2005 levels and 63.2% ABOVE their January 2012 trough. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the home price index ROSE by 1.1% on the month. Housing prices rose in 19 of the 20 metro areas in March (on a seasonally adjusted basis) and in 19 of 20 metro areas on a year-over-year basis.