Not like it matters considering it is pretty much November, but back in August, the Case Shiller index once again missed expectations. The overall index declined 3.8% compared to an expectation of 3.5%, but more importantly, to all those calling for a bottom to housing, we draw your attention to the Composite Top 20 Seasonally Adjusted index, which declined for a 4th consecutive month, in August dropping to 140.56, a decline of -0.05%, following a revised drop of -0.15% in July. No good news were to be found in the prepared remarks either: "The 10- and 20-City Composites posted annual returns of -3.5% and -3.8% versus August 2010, respectively. At -8.5%, Minneapolis posted the lowest year-over-year return, but has improved in each of the last three months. Detroit and Washington DC were the only two cities to post positive annual returns of +2.7% and +0.3% respectively." Here is the bottom line: the seasonally adjusted data has posted 4 consecutive declines; and 14 out of 15 consecutive drops. The Top 20 SA index is now at 140.56, the second lowest in years, and better only than the 140.39 in March 2011. In other news - there is no housing bottom.
And the attempt to spin by Goldman:
BOTTOM LINE: House price growth slightly weaker than expected in August, but nationally prices still broadly stable.
Case-Shiller 20-city index -0.05% (mom, sa) for August vs. GS +0.2%, median forecast +0.1%.
1. The Case-Shiller 20-city house price index unexpectedly declined in August, falling by 0.05% (seasonally adjusted month-over-month). On a year-over-year basis the index was down 3.8%, a larger decline than the consensus expected. In addition to the slightly weaker August reading, earlier months were revised down. That being said, the decline in August and revisions were relatively small, and house prices continue to look broadly stable. [TD: sure - look at the chart above]
2. Results were quite mixed across regions, with six states reporting month-over-month increases and the other fourteen reporting declines. Washington DC continued to outperform other regions, with a 1% increase in August (mom, sa). Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Phoenix saw sizable price declines