The blog is changing its regular presentation of US house price movements, to mirror that used for auto sales. This should help to identify month-by-month changes.
It also means there is no need to use seasonally adjustmed numbers. These are guesswork at the best of times. And in Q1 they have been tested to the limit, due to the abnormally warm weather in most of the US.
The chart is based on the S&P Case-Shiller Index and shows:
• 2012 prices (red square) in Q1 were 3% below 2011 levels (green line)
• This is similar to 2011’s 3.6% fall versus 2010 (blue)
• The 2010 average was 20.4% below 2006’s peaks (black)
Equally, S&P note that prices “ended Q1 at post-crisis lows”, and add:
“Since we are entering a seasonal buying period, it becomes very important to look at both monthly and annual rates of change in home prices in order to understand the broader trend going forward.”
The blog hopes its new format will help readers to do this.