The Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, reported by S&P Dow Jones Indices, rose at a seasonally adjusted annual growth rate of 3.8% in February, following the increase of 3.2% in January. On a year-over-year basis, the Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index rose by 4% in February, down from 4.2% in January. It was the lowest annual gain since September 2012. The annual growth rate has decreased for eleven straight months, from 6.5% in March 2018 to 4.0% in February 2019.
Benchmark Dimension Softwood Lumber Construction Framing Prices vs US Median House Sales Price: 2017 – 2019
Meanwhile, the Home Price Index, released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.2% in February, slower than the 7.6% increase in January. On a year-over-year basis, the FHFA Home Price NSA Index rose by 4.9% in February, the lowest annual growth rate since January 2015. It confirmed the slowdown in home prices.
Dimension Softwood Lumber Construction Framing Prices (Western and Eastern SPF and Southern Yellow Pine East Side) vs US Median House Sales Price: 2007 – 2019
The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), is a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts. The PHSI rose 3.8% from 101.9 in February to 105.8 in March, but was still 1.2% below the level one year ago, marking the fifteen straight month of declines on an annualized basis.
Despite volatility over the past several months, the March strong gain shows consumers’ positive sentiment in US homebuying, as mortgage applications grow steadily and mortgage rates decline again in March. Moderated home prices and stabilized builder confidence provide favorable conditions to the housing market.