Economy

Weak Housing Markets Need a Job-Creating Agenda

A slew of housing data came out today and will continue to pour out this week. The take-away for the day: nothing too terrible to report. Home prices in most markets around the country have either flat-lined or have very modestly improved. No surprises. Though some markets have hit new lows, most indicators point to leveling prices nationwide. Time to focus on jobs and economic growth.

The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index reported a decrease of -0.8%. Of the 20 metropolitan areas in the index, 15 posted better annual returns compared to last month.

FHFA reported a 0.3 percent seasonally adjusted increase in home prices from January to February as well as a year-over-year increase of 0.4 percent.

Also today, a large upward revision from HUD & the Census Bureau for February new home sales produced a decline in sales for March. You can thank the nice weather.

While all the releases today are not technically positive, the fact things aren’t getting worse is, well, good news.

Nonfarm Payroll

Case-Shiller 20-City Index

Not Seasonally Adjusted

1-Month % Change

3-Month % Change

12-Month % Change

1-Month % Change

12-Month % Change

Atlanta

0.1

0.8

1.9

-2.5

-17.3

Boston

-0.1

0.7

1.0

-1.1

-2.4

Charlotte

0.4

0.3

1.3

-0.4

-1.8

Chicago

0.0

0.3

1.1

-2.5

-6.9

Cleveland

0.6

1.0

0.3

-1.7

-4.4

Dallas

0.4

1.0

2.5

0.0

-1.0

Denver

0.2

1.3

2.3

-0.9

0.5

Detroit

0.3

-0.1

-0.3

-1.3

1.5

Las Vegas

-0.9

-1.3

0.0

-0.4

-8.5

Los Angeles

0.3

0.2

0.6

-0.8

-5.2

Miami

0.1

0.0

2.0

0.6

0.8

Minneapolis

0.3

0.6

1.0

-1.0

0.4

New York

0.3

1.0

1.8

-0.8

-3.0

Phoenix

0.2

0.9

2.1

1.2

3.3

Portland

0.0

0.9

1.5

-0.3

-3.0

San Diego

0.0

0.1

0.6

0.2

-3.9

San Francisco

0.5

0.8

1.4

-0.7

-4.1

Seattle

0.0

0.3

2.1

-0.8

-2.9

Tampa

0.3

-0.1

1.9

-0.2

-2.9

Washington

0.2

-0.4

1.4

-0.8

-2.3

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics; S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index

The level of job growth needed for a turnaround in home prices is just not there yet in many metropolitan areas. Stronger wage and job growth will release pent-up demand for housing. A pro-growth agenda is needed to finally turn the page on falling home prices. Places like Dallas, Miami, and Phoenix have already begun to see both growth in jobs and leveling out of home prices. But that winning combination is going to take longer for others.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s