Case Shiller Home Prices Post Tiny Increase In December Driven By Las Vegas, Los Angeles

As expected earlier, today's December Case Shiller data came and went and nobody cared. Perhaps because it is three months delayed, perhaps because it posted an increase in the NSA top 20 city composite at a time when all the previous data was supposedly contracting due to snow in the winter, to the Sandy endless aftermath, or due to the Fiscal Cliff, or perhaps just because the NSA increase (and remember: Case Shiller itself says one should use not adjusted data for an accurate sense of what is going on) was so tiny (0.16%) that nobody cared. Either way, after two sequential monthly declines, the Top 20 Composite index is back to 145.95, lower than the level hit in September.

Even a casual glance at the below the headline data showed that the increase in December house prices were driven mostly by Las Vegas (+1.8) and Los Angeles (+1.14%). Where have we seen this before. Declines were reported in Denver, Washington, Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, Charlotte, New York, Cleveland, Portland, Dallas, Seattle. Excluding those, the Case Shiller was up much more.

From the report:

“The National Composite increased 7.3% over the four quarters of 2012. From its low in the first quarter, it surged in the second and third quarter and slipped slightly in the 2012 fourth period. The 10- and 20-City Composites, which bottomed out in March 2012 continued to show both year-over-year and monthly gains in December. These movements, combined with other housing data, suggest that while housing is on the upswing some of the strongest numbers may have already been seen.

“Atlanta and Detroit posted their biggest year-over-year increases of 9.9% and 13.6% since the start of their indices in January 1991. Dallas, Denver, and Minneapolis recorded their largest annual increases since 2001. Phoenix continued its climb, posting an impressive year-over-year return of 23.0%; it posted eight consecutive months of double-digit annual growth.”