Economy Watch: Home Price Increases Sluggish
- Dec 30, 2014
The post-recession trajectory of U.S. residential prices has one of increases, but data since early 2014 has pointed to a slowing down of those increases. On Monday, Black Knight Financial Services added a bit more confirmation of the trend in its latest Home Price Index report—based on October 2014 residential real estate transactions—which found that prices were up only 0.1 percent month-over-month. Compared with a year ago, prices increased 4.5 percent.
Most of the country’s largest metro areas in fact reported monthly price declines in October, according to Black Knight. Metro Chicago was down 0.7 percent, while New York declined 0.4 percent. Los Angeles and Washington, DC, were both off 0.1 percent. Dallas, on the other hand, experienced a month-over-month uptick of 0.7 percent in residential prices.
The Black Knight index combines the company’s property and loan-level databases to produce a repeat sales analysis of home prices as of their transaction dates every month for each of more than 18,500 U.S. zip codes. The index represents the price of non-distressed sales by taking into account price discounts for REO and short sales.
Gas prices continue sliding as year ends
AAA reported on Monday that average gas prices in two states have dropped below $2 per gallon for the first time since 2009: Missouri ($1.93) and Oklahoma ($1.98). The national average has fallen 95 days in a row, and prices have plummeted $1.38 (nearly 40 percent) since the start of June.
The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.29 per gallon, down 11 cents per gallon compared to only a week ago; 49 cents compared to one month ago; and $1.02 per gallon compared to the same date last year. AAA estimates that drivers are saving more than $500 million per day each day compared to the highs in both the spring and summer.
Oil prices looked like they might rise a little on Monday, following the escalation of violence in the Libyan port of Misurata. But oil futures traders decided in short order that the event wouldn’t impact the oil glut, and prices dropped by the end of the day: the U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate by 2.09 percent for the day, and the international benchmark Brent by 2.71 percent.
Wall Street ended Monday mixed, without much movement either way. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 15.48 points, or 0.09 percent, while the S&P 500 gained 0.09 percent. The Nasdaq essentially broke even.