Is the Rate of Home Price Declines Slowing?

Economist says that when seasonally adjusted, new housing figures may suggest moderation.


The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices—released today—showed that home prices continued their decline in May, with the 20-city composite index posting a record 15.8 annual drop. (That's a shade better than consensus estimates.)

But Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics, said that when seasonally adjusted, the figures contain a potential sliver of sunshine:

From Ian Shepherdson,

This is interesting. We estimate that the seasonally adjusted [month over month] decline was 1.3%, the smallest drop since October last year. It follows a 1.6% April decline and an average plunge of 2.2% in the three [months] to March. We can't be sure these data are [reliable] over such short runs but they do seem to suggest the rate of decline of existing home prices is slowing. To be sure, [prices] are still falling very rapidly, and there is no prospect of any rebound this year and probably next, but a slower rate of fall is welcome nonetheless.