With today's release of the November S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, we learned that seasonally adjusted home prices for the benchmark 20-city index were up 0.75% month over month. The seasonally adjusted national index year-over-year change has hovered between 4.2% and 6.2% for the last two plus years. Today's S&P/Case-Shiller National Home Price Index (nominal) reached another new high.

The adjacent column chart illustrates the month-over-month change in the seasonally adjusted 20-city index, which tends to be the most closely watched of the Case-Shiller series. It was up 0.75% from the previous month. The nonseasonally adjusted index was up 6.4% year-over-year.

Investing.com had forecast a 0.7% MoM seasonally adjusted increase and 6.3% YoY nonseasonally adjusted for the 20-city series.

Here is an excerpt of the analysis from today's Standard & Poor's press release.

“Home prices continue to rise three times faster than the rate of inflation,” says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Index year-over-year increases have been 5% or more for 16 months; the 20-City index has climbed at this pace for 28 months. Given slow population and income growth since the financial crisis, demand is not the primary factor in rising home prices. Construction costs, as measured by National Income and Product Accounts, recovered after the financial crisis, increasing between 2% and 4% annually, but do not explain all of the home price gains. From 2010 to the latest month of data, the construction of single family homes slowed, with single family home starts averaging 632,000 annually. This is less than the annual rate during the 2007-2009 financial crisis of 698,000, which is far less than the long-term average of slightly more than one million annually from 1959 to 2000 and 1.5 million during the 2001-2006 boom years. Without more supply, home prices may continue to substantially outpace inflation.” [Link to source]

The chart below is an overlay of the Case-Shiller 10- and 20-City Composite Indexes along with the national index since 1987, the first year that the 10-City Composite was tracked. Note that the 20-City, which is probably the most closely watched of the three, dates from 2000. We've used the seasonally adjusted data for this illustration.

Home Price Index