Let’s roll into the data, first of all. The press release is just out:
“(Here are) the latest results for the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices. Data released today for January 2019 shows that the rate of home price increases across the U.S. has continued to slow.
The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, reported a 4.3% annual gain in January, down from 4.6% in the previous month.
The 10-City Composite annual increase came in at 3.2%, down from 3.7% in the previous month. The 20-City Composite posted a 3.6% year-over-year gain, down from 4.1% in the previous month.
Las Vegas, Phoenix and Minneapolis reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities. In January, Las Vegas led the way with a 10.5% year-over-year price increase, followed by Phoenix with a 7.5% increase and Minneapolis with a 5.1% increase. Only one of the 20 cities reported greater price increases in the year ending January 2019 versus the year ending December 2018.
The charts on the following page compares year-over-year returns of different housing price ranges (tiers) for the top two cities, Las Vegas and Phoenix. ”
Before seasonal adjustment, the National Index posted a month-over-month decrease of 0.2% in January. The 10-City and 20-City Composites reported 0.3% and 0.2% decreases for the month, respectively. After seasonal adjustment, the National Index recorded a 0.2% month-over-month increase in January. The 10-City Composite did not post any gains, and the 20-City Composite posted 0.1% month-over-month increase. In January, five of 20 cities reported increases before seasonal adjustment, while 14 of 20 cities reported increases after seasonal adjustment.
There was also bad news in the earlier federal report on housing.
The report out earlier pointed out this:
“Housing Starts Privately?owned housing starts in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,162,000. This is 8.7 percent (±10.3 percent)* below the revised January estimate of 1,273,000 and is 9.9 percent (±11.5 percent)* below the February 2018 rate of 1,290,000. Single?family housing starts in February were at a rate of 805,000; this is 17.0 percent (±11.2 percent) below the revised January figure of 970,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 352,000.
Housing Completions Privately?owned housing completions in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,303,000. This is 4.5 percent (±17.8 percent)* above the revised January estimate of 1,247,000 and is 1.1 percent (±18.6 percent)* above the February 2018 rate of 1,289,000. Single?family housing completions in February were at a rate of 816,000; this is 10.0 percent (±11.0 percent)* below the revised January rate of 907,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 473,000.
What this suggests to me is that Congress – by capping the write off of interest and local taxes – is “killing us softly” with a tax policy enacted well over a year ago amidst much fanfare and hype.
Now we see the results.
While Dow futures are up 119 for the open, we’re becoming skeptical that there’s much room on the upside left. Housing faltering is a hugely, bigly deal….