April Home Prices Increase; New-Home Sales Highest Since 08; Consumer Confidence Sees 5-Year High

RIS Media

25 June 2013

A wave of positive housing news flooded financial newswires this morning.

Data through April 2013, released today by S&P Dow Jones Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, a leading measure of U.S. home prices, showed average home prices increased 11.6 percent and 12.1 percent for the 10- and 20-City Composites in the 12 months ending in April 2013.

From March to April, the 10- and 20-City Composites rose 2.6 percent and 2.5 percent. All 20 cities and both Composites showed positive year-over-year returns for at least the fourth consecutive month. Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit and Minneapolis posted their highest annual gains since the start of their respective indices.

“The 10- and 20-City Composites posted their highest monthly gains in the history of S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices,” says David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Thirteen cities posted monthly increases of over two percentage points, with San Francisco leading at 4.9 percent.” The recovery is definitely broad based. The two Composites showed the largest year-over-year gains in seven years.

In more positive housing news, the Commerce Department said today that new-home sales increased 2.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 476,000 units – the highest level since July 2008. It was the third straight month of gains in new-home sales, reflecting a continued resurgence in the U.S. housing market.

In more record-breaking news today, The Conference Board said consumer confidence in June rose to a more than five-year high. The index rose to 81.4 from 74.3 in May, marking the best level since January 2008. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® now stands at 81.4 (1985=100), up from 74.3 in May. The Present Situation Index increased to 69.2 from 64.8. The Expectations Index improved to 89.5 from 80.6 last month.

Says Lynn Franco, director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board: “Consumer Confidence increased for the third consecutive month and is now at its highest level since January 2008 (Index 87.3). Consumers are considerably more positive about current business and labor market conditions than they were at the beginning of the year. Expectations have also improved considerably over the past several months, suggesting that the pace of growth is unlikely to slow in the short-term, and may even moderately pick up.”

Stay tuned for continuing coverage of the housing recovery!