The latest S&P/Case-Shiller indix numbers are out today, which showed that the 20-city composite index dropped 2.8 percent in May from year-ago levels — the largest YOY drop in six years. The 10-city composite index dropped 3.4 percent, its largest decrease since 1991. The formal press release is available here. From Bloomberg:
The declines indicate that housing will continue to hamstring the world’s largest economy, economists say … “Things are getting worse rather than better,” said Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto. “If home prices keep falling, eventually consumer confidence and spending will take a hit.”
Coverage from National Mortgage News took a decidedly more positive tack on the news, however, noting that price performance has improved in key metropolitan areas:
… prices in eight of the 20 metropolitan areas surveyed showed positive monthly growth rates, compared with only one or two in the late winter and early spring. “We need a few more months of data, however, to determine if this is the beginning of a national turnaround, since the national trend is still at a sharp deceleration,” [Robert] Shiller said.
The Case-Shiller indices are one of roughly three major housing price indexes used by various economists — I’ve posted about recent interest in the relative merits of each index in the recent past.