Data through April 2012, released today by S&P Indices for its S&P/Case-
Shiller Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, showed that on average home prices
increased 1.3% in the month of April for both the 10- and 20-City Composites. This comes after seven
consecutive months of falling home prices as measured by both indices.
April’s data indicate that on an annual basis home prices fell by 2.2% for the 10-City Composite and by
1.9% for the 20-City Composites, versus April 2011. While still negative, this is an improvement over the
annual rates of -2.9% and -2.6% recorded for the month of March 2012. Both Composites and 18 of the 20
MSAs saw increases in annual returns in April compared to those published for March; only Detroit and
New York fared worse in April, posting annual returns of +1.2% and -3.8% respectively, falling below their
March returns of +3.9% and -3.0%. For the seventh consecutive month, Atlanta posted the only doubledigit
negative annual return at -17.0%, its 22nd consecutive month of negative annual returns. Ten of the 20
MSAs saw positive annual returns – Boston, Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Miami, Minneapolis,
Phoenix, Tampa and Washington D.C. No cities posted new lows in April 2012.
The chart above depicts the annual returns of the 10-City and the 20-City Composite Home Price Indices.
In April 2012, both Composites were up by 1.3% in the month, resulting in annual returns of -2.2% and
“With April 2012 data, we finally saw some rising home prices,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the
Index Committee at S&P Indices. “On a monthly basis, 19 of the 20 MSAs and both Composites rose in
April over March. Detroit was the only city that saw prices fall, down 3.6%. In addition, 18 of the 20 MSAs
and both Composites saw better annual rates of return. It has been a long time since we enjoyed such broadbased
gains. While one month does not make a trend, particularly during seasonally strong buying months,
the combination of rising positive monthly index levels and improving annual returns is a good sign. The
10-City and 20-City Composites each rose by 1.3% for the month and posted annual rates of return of
-2.2% and -1.9% compared to April 2011, better than the -2.9% and -2.6% annual rates seen in March 2012.
“We were hoping to see some improvement in April. First, changes in home prices are very seasonal, with
the spring and early summer being the most active buying months. Second, while not as strong and we
believe less reliable, the seasonally adjusted data were also largely positive, a possible sign that the increase
in prices may be due to more than just the expected surge in spring sales. Additionally, the last few months
have seen increased sales and housing starts amidst a lot of talk of better housing markets, so some price
gains were anticipated.
“Detroit and New York stand out this month as the only two MSAs that saw their annual rates of return
deteriorate compared to March. While Detroit posted a positive annual rate of 1.2%, it was still well below
March’s +3.9%; New York was -3.8% in April down from -3.0% in March. Detroit was also the only city to
show a monthly decline, down 3.6%. All other MSAs improved versus March.
“Atlanta and Phoenix, two markets we have followed closely in 2012 for their contrasting trends, have
continued along their opposite paths. Atlanta continues to be the only city with double-digit negative annual
returns, -17.0%, whereas Phoenix fared the best in terms of annual returns at +8.6% in April.”
The chart above shows the index levels for the 10-City and 20-City Composite Indices. As
of April 2012, average home prices across the United States are back to the levels where they were in early
2003 for the 20-City Composite and to mid-2003 levels for the 10-City Composite. Measured from their
June/July 2006 peaks through April 2012, the decline for both Composites is approximately 34%. Both
Composites recently reached their index level lows in the current housing cycle in March 2012, down
approximately 35% from their peaks.
In April 2012, 19 of the 20 MSAs and both Composites posted positive monthly returns. Detroit was the
only exception recording a monthly decline of 3.6%. Atlanta was the only city to post a double-digit
negative annual rate of return; however it saw improvements in both monthly and annual rates versus what
was published for March. Phoenix continues to lead those cities with improving trends, posting a 2.5%
monthly increase in April, as well as the highest annual rate of return amongst all 20 cities at +8.6%.
Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit and Las Vegas continue to have average home prices below their January 2000
The table below summarizes the results for April 2012. The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are
revised for the 24 prior months, based on the receipt of additional source data. More than 25 years of
history for these data series is available, and can be accessed in full by going to
Since its launch in early 2006, the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices have published, and the markets
have followed and reported on, the non-seasonally adjusted data set used in the headline indices. For
analytical purposes, S&P Indices publishes a seasonally adjusted data set covered in the headline indices,
as well as for the 17 of 20 markets with tiered price indices and the five condo markets that are tracked.
A summary of the monthly changes using the seasonally adjusted (SA) and non-seasonally adjusted
(NSA) data can be found in the table below.
About S&P Indices
S&P Indices, a leading brand of the McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE:MHP), maintains a wide variety of
investable and benchmark indices to meet an array of investor needs. Over $1.45 trillion is directly indexed
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