Spring into Summer: Housing Prices Heat Up

When I inform Boise readers about the latest news in housing prices, it is later than I would like. One reason is that there is usually a delay in the truly reliable indexes that measure housing prices. The big indexes are national, and they may have a two month built in delay.

It usually takes about 60 days for us to know the change in trends and the direction the change is taking.

The Wall Street Journal is always finding a way to present unusually fresh numbers. Reporter Nick Timiraos ignored the S&P/Case-Shiller Index, and reported the first solid news about our much-anticipated spring selling season.

The report shows a startling 2.7% one-month increase: the largest March-to-April gain in any of the 17 years since the series was first reported.

“The monthly gain blew away all previous Aprils,” said an economist at Credit Suisse. The basis of the reports comes from a release of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ producer-price index, which measures prices in the whole economy (at least as seen by manufacturers and wholesalers). It is a backdoor to measure housing prices when you examine prices received by real estate agents.

The figures show a 9.1% gain over housing prices from a year ago… big price rises were already happening by then. The Journal said, “Do not be surprised if you see continued increases in prices and sales in the next housing reports.”

Professors Case and Shiller will be standing by to give us those figures. In case you would like a more focused update on our recent Boise housing prices, I will be standing by as well — why not give me a call today?