Home Prices Increased at Historic Level Again in March

What Tuesday’s Economic Reports Tell Us

Couple with real estate agent

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Home prices continued to make historic gains in March, and consumers lost confidence in the short-term jobs outlook in May, reports showed Tuesday.

Here’s a quick look at the most significant economic indicators of the day and what they tell us

S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index 

  • Single-family home prices were 20.6% higher this March than last March, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index. That’s up from 20% the index recorded in the previous month. It’s the biggest gain in home prices in more than 35 years of data.
  • Home prices aren’t likely to keep breaking records for long. Other recent indicators, such as the National Association of Realtors’ existing home sales measure and the U.S. Census Bureau’s new home sales metric, show a slowdown in home buying amid rising interest rates. 
  • "Those of us who have been anticipating a deceleration in the growth rate of U.S. home prices will have to wait at least a month longer," Craig J. Lazzara, managing director at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in a commentary. “Although one can safely predict that price gains will begin to decelerate, the timing of the deceleration is a more difficult call.”

Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index 

  • The Conference Board’s measure of how people feel about the economy and their own finances fell 2.2 points in May. The Consumer Confidence Index is at 106.4, down from April’s revised 108.6, but still higher than the 103.9 economists had expected.
  • Consumers sense a slight softening in the labor market, despite the employment landscape continuing to favor job seekers, and rising prices are scaring people away from big purchases and vacation planning.
  • “Inflation remains top of mind for consumers, with their inflation expectations in May virtually unchanged from April’s elevated levels,” Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, said in a release. “Looking ahead, expect surging prices and additional interest rate hikes to pose continued downside risks to consumer spending this year.”

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  1.  S&P Dow Jones Indices. “S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index Reports Annual Home Price Gain of 20.6% in March.”

  2.  The Conference Board. “Consumer Data | The Conference Board.”

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