Interesting headline in the Case-Shiller (et al) Housing report just out:  The headline:

“CHARLOTTE JOINS TOP THREE CITIES IN ANNUAL HOME PRICE GAINS ACCORDING TO S&P CORELOGIC CASE-SHILLER INDEX ”

Followed by details which are really a bout housing slowing down:

“S&P Dow Jones Indices today released the latest results for the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices. Data released today for July 2019 shows that the rate of home price increases across the U.S. continues to slow.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, reported a 3.2% annual gain in July, remaining the same from the previous month. The 10City Composite annual increase came in at 1.6%, down from 1.9% in the previous month. The 20-City Composite posted a 2.0% year-over-year gain, down from 2.2% in the previous month.
Phoenix, Las Vegas and Charlotte reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities. In July, Phoenix led the way with a 5.8% year-over-year price increase, followed by Las Vegas with a 4.7% increase, and Charlotte with a 4.6% increase. Seven of the 20 cities reported greater price increases in the year ending July 2019 versus the year ending June 2019.

After some single market views, the presser continues:

“Before seasonal adjustment, the National Index posted a month-over-month increase of 0.4% in July. The 10-City Composite remained flat and the 20-City Composite reported a 0.1% increase for the month. After seasonal adjustment, the National Index recorded a 0.1% month-over-month increase in July. The 10-City Composite posted a 0.1% decrease and the 20-City Composite did not report any gains. In July, 15 of 20 cities reported increases both before and after seasonal adjustment.
ANALYSIS
“Year-over-year home prices continued to gain, but at ever more modest rates,” says Philip Murphy, Managing Director and Global Head of Index Governance at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Charlotte surpassed Tampa to join the top three cities, and Seattle may be turning around from its recent negative streak of YOY price changes, improving from -1.3% in June to -0.06% in July. “

If one is inclined to see Elliott Waves in everything, we could look at the percentage price change chart and squint at it this way:

On the other hand, if you don’t look at percent change (a kind of derivative view) and stick to the prices only, they look less unsettling:

Of course, there are two classes of people who will have entirely different views of this price view.

The real estate people we know would say “buy a house, don’t put too much down, and use leverage because the government is still making up money like crazy…”  And they’d be right.

BUT, the other view of the financially sane people would be more like “The price chart is a bit misleading because it’s based on something close to compounding interest and inferring Elliott from a compound interest table?  Might not work out so well, bub.”

Not saying who’s right or wrong, and we have too many other books to write…so let’s let it go and call it “Not the end of the world” though stocks lost about half their early gains and futures on the Dow are +56 going into the open…

Moron the ‘morrow for Peoplenomics subscribers…Click here for this morning’s real column but bring a change of clothes – a bit long.

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