Single-family home prices in the U.S. rose in the month of February, but just barely beat Wall Street’s expectations, according to a survey released Tuesday.
The S&P/Case-Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas increased by 0.8 percent in February on a seasonally adjusted basis. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a 0.7 percent increase.
“Despite continued price gains, most other housing statistics are weak,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, who cited new and existing home sales data.
Blitzer’s analysis stands in stark contrast to analysis from the National Association of Realtors, who stand to personally gain from positive sentiment in the housing markets.
The National Association of Realtors said on Monday its Pending Home Sales Index, which factors contracts signed only last month, ticked up 3.4 percent to 97.4. The March increase not only beat economists’ expectations for a 1.0 percent gain, but it was the first time in nine months the index didn’t fall.
But David Blitzer disagrees.
“The recovery in housing starts, now less than one million units at annual rates, is faltering. Moreover, home prices nationally have not made it back to 2005,” he said in an email.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, prices were essentially flat in the month of February compared with the month of January.
Prices in the 20 cities rose 12.9 percent year over year, which just missed expectations of 13 percent.