The June 2020 data is the latest available from Case-Shiller as I write this on August 25. The data is a 3-month moving average so what they call June is really the April-June average. Detroit data have NOT been updated for months.
I break the Covid-19 market into 3 phases.
• Phase 1 was March and April when the market was tanking.
• Phase 2 was May and June when the market was rebounding.
This June data is the average of April through June so it includes the weakest month (April) as well as both rebound months (May and June).
Since last June, house prices in Phoenix have been appreciating faster than in any of the other 20 metros covered by Case-Shiller. Real house prices increased 8% over the last year in Phoenix. 8% after inflation is a HOT real estate market.
Real, inflation-adjusted house prices increased for all metros covered by Case-Shiller from June 2019 to June 2020,. (Although, we don’t have April data for Detroit yet.)
For the U.S. as a whole, real, inflation adjusted house prices were up 4%.
Tell me in the “Comments” what you think.
House Price Momentum
House prices continued to gain upward momentum in June. Prices increased more over the last 12 months compared to the previous 12 months in 13 cities covered by Case-Shiller. Prices increased more slowly in only 2 metros, Chicago and Las Vegas.
Consumer prices actually FELL a bit in April (because of lower oil prices) which caused a bit of a spike in real, inflation adjusted home prices.
Phoenix had 9% 12-month house (nominal) price appreciation.
Seattle was #2 with 7% appreciation. If you play with the interactive graph, you’ll see that Seattle home prices have been more erratic than any other metro. It was the hottest market for a couple of years but then prices actually fell slightly year-over-year in 2019. Now, Seattle is back near the top for house price appreciation!
Mortgage Rates Fall Almost 2% Since November
The Case-Shiller data only covers through June but we know the market is manic and their July and August data – when it comes out – will show strong price increases. The main reason is the big fall in mortgage rates.
You can see from the interactive graph below that the 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate hit 4.9% in November 2018. Now, it’s 3.0%. That’s the main reason why house sales and house prices have increased so rapidly despite the recession and the ongoing pandemic.
Is there any product more sensitive to interest rates than houses? Let me know in the comments.
To see more about the wild Phoenix housing market, check out my other website, Arizona Real Estate Notebook.
Note. You can find interactive versions of these charts for all 20 Case-Shiller metros here.
Note. This post was written on August 23, 2020 but the interactive graphs will be continually updated.
6 Responses to #1 Reason Home Prices Are Up Despite Covid-19 Recession
Interest rates are very low, making the cost of home ownership low relative to incomes. Also people are looking for larger spaces and multifunctional rooms so that they can work from home
Those have got to be the 2 big reasons. I’m thinking the interest rates are more than half of it. Also, maybe some moving up timeframe for buying for first-time buyers who lived in apartments.
Can it be sustained John?
Lower interest rates raise real prices. Do lower interest rates also affect inflation?
I just wanted to say thank you for wonderful graphs . It must’ve taken some effort. Thank you. Finally someone taking interest rate, and inflation into account. Next one will income and taxes to create an affordability index 😉 .
Adding income is on my to-do list. 😀
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