Home Prices Continue To Show Strength

Following the financial crisis and housing crash, there were many years when analysts wondered when the housing market would, once again, be among the main drivers of the economy. Now, after its best year since home prices plummeted, housing is showing strength just as other parts of the economy seem to have slowed. For example, the latest S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index shows November home prices were 5.3 percent higher than year-before levels – an improvement over October when they were 5.1 percent higher than one year earlier. David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said the results show housing continues to improve. “Home prices extended their gains, supported by continued low mortgage rates, tight supplies, and an improving labor market,” Blitzer said. “Sales of existing homes were up 6.5 percent in 2015 vs. 2014, and the number of homes on the market averaged about a 4.8 months’ supply during the year; both numbers suggest a seller’s market.” He went on to say that though the consumer portion of the economy, like automobile sales and housing, were strong last year other parts of the economy, such as the oil and energy sector, have slowed. According to Blitzer, housing’s growth will not be “enough to offset all of these weak spots.” More here.