The Case-Shiller numbers are out for May and they continue to show a slow improvement in the overall housing market.
For May, 15 of the 20 cities managed to show either flat or monthly housing price increases. In April 9 cities were either flat or increasing. Even the cities showing declining prices are doing so at a decreasing rate.
Here is the summary chart from the Wall Street Journal’s Real Time Economics blog.
(About the numbers: The Case Shiller indices have a base value of 100 in January 2000. So a current index value of 150 translates to a 50% appreciation rate since January 2000 for a typical home located within the metro market.)
I think it’s fair to take this as a positive development. Sure, it’s the summer selling season and there is a bit of a buyer frenzy in some markets, particularly at the lower end where most foreclosures have occurred, but the free fall we’ve seen over the past year or more isn’t evident. There may be setbacks as we get further into the year and the middle to high end of the market may still have more room to decline but prices do seem to be bouncing somewhere near a bottom.
Having said that, bouncing bottoms might be our future for some time. It’s hard to see much of a rebound in prices.