Condo prices increase across all five cities

Condo prices increase across all five cities.

June 2012 data for the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices were released on Tuesday August 28th, revealing the third consecutive monthly increase in condo prices in all five of the metro areas covered by our indices – Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. It would have been the fourth had Chicago prices not fallen back in March 2012. All five cities saw increases in both condo and existing home prices in each of April through June.

The Chicago index reported the largest condo price increase, up 4.2% in June. New York was next, +2.5%. Condo prices in Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco rose by 2.4%, 1.5% and 2.3% in June, respectively.

With June’s report, Boston’s condo prices showed positive annual changes for the fourth consecutive month, up 1.9% versus June 2011. This, however, was a deceleration from the +2.4% rate posted in May. New York and San Francisco’s annual rates of return accelerated in June. New York condo prices were up 3.6% and San Francisco up 4.8% versus where they were in June 2011.

Chicago condo prices posted the largest annual decline, -5.1%, but June’s monthly 4.2% increase keeps the index above 100. An index level of 106.97 indicates that average condo prices in Chicago were back to their mid- 2000 levels. Los Angeles condo prices were up in each month of March through June, but are still down 1.7% versus June 2011.

The chart below compares the index levels for the five condo markets covered by the indices, rebased to 1995 = 100. Chicago (grey) is well below the other cities, where average condo prices are back to their mid 2000 levels. Los Angeles (blue) and San Francisco (red) condo market prices are back to their late-2003 levels. Boston (black) and New York (green) are relatively healthier, with both markets more than 170% higher than they were in January 1995.

While all five markets improved in the second quarter of 2012, Boston, New York and San Francisco condo prices are up compared to a year ago, as the table below highlights. In addition, San Francisco remained the only market where both condo and home prices were increasing at an annual pace. Boston home prices were flat versus June 2011. New York has shown strength in the condo market, but has been relatively weak in the housing market as prices remain below where they were a year ago. Home prices in that market were down 2.1% in June 2012 versus June 2011, and had posted a post-recession low as recently as March 2012. Although recent monthly statistics have been strong, Chicago condo and home prices are below their year-ago levels, as are those for Los Angeles.

The chart below illustrates the differences between Boston, Chicago and New York condo and single-family home prices since 1995. The purple and green lines show that the Boston and New York condo markets are the best relative performers. Both markets’ condo prices are up over 170% versus January 1995; whereas Chicago prices are up only about 35%. In spite of their second quarter 2012 surge, condo prices in Chicago have fallen by 33.6% since their September 2007 peak; whereas the Boston (-10.2%) and New York (-12.3%) markets have fallen by far less from their relative peaks.

The chart below shows the differences between New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco since 2000. The green, grey and orange lines represent the respective condo markets. While all saw a second quarter surge, New York condo prices were the most stable over the prior three years. The LA condo market has fallen by 40.0% since its July 2006 peak; the San Francisco market has fallen by 28.9% since its October 2005 peak; and the New York market has only fallen by 12.3% from its February 2006 peak.

Across all cities, both the single-family home and condos prices rose in all three months of the second quarter. While some prices remain below their year-ago level, most are showing improvement in their annual rates too.

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