US city home price growth continued to slow in August according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices for August 2014. Meanwhile, the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had dropped in September, rebounded in October. The Index now stands at 94.5 (1985=100), up from 89.0 in September. The Present Situation Index edged up from 93.0 to 93.7, while the Expectations Index increased sharply to 95.0 from 86.4 in September.
The 10-City Composite rose 5.5% year-over- year and the 20-City 5.6%, both down from the 6.7% reported for July. The National Index gained 5.1% annually in August compared to 5.6% in July.
“The deceleration in home prices continues,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The Sun Belt region reported its worst annual returns since 2012, led by weakness in all three California cities -- Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego. Despite the weaker year-over-year numbers, home prices are still showing an overall increase, as the National Index increased for its eighth consecutive month.
“The large extent of slower increases is seen in the annual figures with all 20 cities; the two composites and the national index all revealing lower numbers than last month. The 10- and 20-City Composites gained 5.5% and 5.6% annually with prices nationally rising at a slower pace of 5.1%. Las Vegas continues to see a sharp deceleration in their annual home prices with a 10.1% annual return, down just below three% from last month. Miami is now leading the cities with a 10.5% year-over-year return. San Francisco, which has shown double-digit annual gains since November 2012, posted an annual return of 9.0% in August.
The consumer confidence survey showed that consumers’ appraisal of current conditions was moderately more favourable in October than in September. Their view of business conditions was mixed; while the proportion saying conditions are “good” inched up from 24.2% to 24.5%, those claiming business conditions are “bad” also increased slightly, from 21.2% to 21.7%. Consumers’ assessment of the job market improved moderately, with the proportion stating jobs are “plentiful” increasing marginally from 16.3% to 16.5%, and those claiming jobs are “hard to get” declining slightly from 29.4% to 29.1%.
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