It's after 5:00, at least on the east coast, and I'm as ready as anybody else for some good news. The source of relief? The usual bad news bears at Case-Shiller actually had a pretty good June National 20-City Home Price Index report today, at least month-over-month. That's good enough for me. I'm heading for the champagne bottle.
The index rose 1.4% month-over-month, the 2nd month in a row of M-O-M gains.
Even though there remains a year-over-year home price decline of 14.9 percent, it's a substantially better comparison than the record decline of 19.1 percent in Q1 Y-O-Y.
Need more to dust off the good bottle of champagne? Sales of new and existing homes rose for three consecutive months through June. Housing starts were up in June, and an index of builder sentiment rose in July, though both remained at low levels.
Take a look at this beautiful graph from Calculated Risk showing the 20- city price comparison for the last three years:
But just to keep the bubbles under control, here is a comment from a Wall Street Journal article on today's housing news:
The latest readings don't necessarily herald a full-blown recovery for the housing market or broader economy. Consumer confidence remains near record lows. The U.S. unemployment rate, at 9.5% in June, is expected to hit double digits before year end, making swift growth and an expanding labor force unlikely anytime soon.I have to stop now. Not only do I need to chill the champagne (wasn't expecting the Case-Shiller good news) but I also have to turn off the TV where Cramer is in an absolute rant about his call of a June 30 housing market bottom. Idiot.
"After hell, purgatory isn’t so bad.”