Monday, December 7, 2009

House Prices and the Recession

The prices of houses is considered to be a form of leading indicator of recovery from the recession. It is a psychological measure of the confidence people have looking forward.

We look here at both new and existing home sales as well as the Case Shiller Index. We show this below:

To some degree this is reading tea leaves. The new home price bottomed out again in August, from a similar low in March. The rebound thus far since August is no where as robust as was March. The CS index has remained somewhat flat just below 140 which is well below the almost 190 of 2005.

There clearly does not appear to be any progress in this area. Existing homes have recovered from January yet continue to decline in price. The detailed analysis of defaults and sales of the defaults still weighs the bundle. Using this data point one sees little progress.