Signup for our free newsletter:

The Case-Shiller Index Rises But Confidence Wanes

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted July 27, 2010


humpty dumpty

Charlie the Realtor called me again this morning to give me another load of grief. Ecstatic beyond words, he was all warm and fuzzy in the wake of the Case-Shiller Home Price Index data released this morning.

Not surprisingly, home prices were up for the month instead of down.

According to Standard & Poor’s,  the 20-city index was up for the third month in a row and was 4.6% higher than a year ago, as all but one of the 20 cities recorded increases in April.

So seduced by the headline number, Charlie dropped me line.

However, since he didn’t bother to read the whole report, he missed out on this bit of analysis. According to the report:

“While May’s report on its own looks somewhat positive, a broader look at home price levels over the past year still do not indicate that the housing market is in any form of sustained recovery,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s. “Since reaching its recent trough in April 2009, the housing market has really only stabilized at this lower level. The two Composites have improved between 5 and 6% since then, but this is no better than the improvement they had registered as of October 2009. The last seven months have basically been flat.”

Meanwhile, we also learned today that consumers are still down in the dumps making for an even tougher environment this fall…

From the AP by Anne D’Innocenziao entitled: Consumer confidence retreats further in July

“Americans’ confidence in the economy eroded further in July amid worries about a job market that has proven stubbornly stagnant. The report raised concerns about the overall economy and the back-to-school season.

The Conference Board, a private research group, said Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index slipped to 50.4 in July, down from the revised 54.3 in June. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected 51.0. The decline follows last month’s nearly 10-point drop, from 62.7 in May, which marked the biggest since February, when the measure also fell 10 points.

The second straight month of declining confidence follows three months of increases.

With unemployment stuck near 10 percent and the stock market having wiped out gains made early this year, Americans are skittish about spending. A continuing stream of sobering economic data — from disappointing job figures in May and June to weak housing numbers — is increasing worries that the economic recovery is stalling just as government stimulus programs are disappearing.

One component of the Consumer Confidence Index, which measures how people feel now about the economy now, declined to 26.1, from 26.8. The other barometer, which measures respondent’s outlook over the next six months, declined to 66.6, from 72.7 last month.

The index — which measures how shoppers feel about business conditions, the job market and the next six months — had been recovering fitfully since hitting an all-time low of 25.3 in February 2009.”


So I hate to break it to you Charlie— but the housing bottom is still not in yet.

Related Articles:

Used Home Sales at a 3-Month Low

Trulia: The Sellers Are on the Run

Meredith Whitney Predicts a Housing Double-Dip

Case-Shiller Index: Home Prices Fell 3%

To learn more about Wealth Daily click here