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Home prices down third straight month? Big picture bad?

For god's sake, this story doesn't provide the data to understand what's going on. That's why Spritzler goes to the source (Case Shiller) so you guys can...I know. You're welcome!

BTW, prices have been steadily rising for five years, really ramping up during the pandemic. In the past three months, following mortgage rates heading up, prices are starting to fall again. Ergo, down almost 3% this quarter but up amost 8% for the year. Prices remain surprisingly robust due to a lack of housing supply (in the face of falling demand).

Home Prices Slid in September for Third Straight Month

Case-Shiller index fell 1% in September from August amid higher interest rates

Many economists expect home prices to continue to slide from their spring peaks.

By Nicole Friedman, WSJ

Updated Nov. 29, 2022 12:27 pm ET

Home prices fell in September from the prior month, marking the first time prices have declined for three straight months in nearly four years.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, which measures home prices across the nation, fell 1% in September from August. Over the past three months, the index is down 2.6%.

Home prices in many major cities had been booming for years before the pandemic-fueled home buying spree pushed prices even higher. That surge reversed abruptly this year due to a rapid rise in mortgage rates, which made home-buying far less affordable and pushed many buyers out of the market. Existing-home sales fell for nine straight months through October, and sales activity has declined sharply in much of the country.

Home prices are still rising on an annual basis because the inventory of homes for sale are at unusually low levels. In September, the index rose 10.6% compared with a year earlier. That was down from a 12.9% annual rate the prior month, and many economists are forecasting year-over-year price declines in 2023.

Surveys also show buyer enthusiasm waning. Consumer sentiment toward the housing market fell in October to a record low in data going back to 2011, according to Fannie Mae.

The West Coast has been especially hard-hit by rising interest rates. Its real estate is among the most expensive in the country, and workers at many tech companies have faced layoffs and falling stock prices.

Home prices in San Francisco tumbled 2.9% in September from August. Recent monthly home price declines there have been steeper than the city’s monthly price declines in 2001 when the dot-com bust spilled over to the housing market. Seattle home prices also fell 2.9% on a monthly basis.

The Case-Shiller index, which measures repeat-sales data, reports on a two-month delay and reflects a three-month moving average. Homes usually go under contract a month or two before they close, so the September data is based on purchase decisions made earlier in the year.

“As the Federal Reserve continues to move interest rates higher, mortgage financing continues to be more expensive and housing becomes less affordable,” said Craig Lazzara, managing director at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Given the continuing prospects for a challenging macroeconomic environment, home prices may well continue to weaken.”

The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 6.58% in the week ended Nov. 23, up from 3.1% from a year earlier, according to housing-finance agency Freddie Mac.

The median existing-home price rose 6.6% in October from a year earlier to $379,100, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Housing is one of the most weighted categories when tracking inflation, but it's also one of the most complicated to measure. WSJ’s David Harrison explains how the shelter index is calculated, and why it can muddy the inflation outlook for the Fed. Illustration: Laura Kammermann

The Case-Shiller 10-city index gained 9.7% over the year ended in September, compared with a 12.1% increase in August. The 20-city index rose 10.4%, after an annual gain of 13.1% in August. Price growth decelerated in all of the 20 cities.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected the 20-city index to gain 10.9%.

Miami had the fastest annual home-price growth in the country, at 24.6%, followed by Tampa, at 23.8%.

A separate measure of home-price growth by the Federal Housing Finance Agency also released Tuesday found an 11% increase in home prices in September from a year earlier. The FHFA index rose 0.1% in September from the prior month on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Write to Nicole Friedman at

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