For May, the Case-Shiller Index showed home values up in 15 of its 20 tracked U.S. markets. It’s the first time in nearly 3 years that the index showed such strength and a signal that home prices may be turning higher for good.
According to a Case-Shiller Index spokesperson, “this could be a signal that home price declines are finally stabilizing.”
However, just because the Case-Shiller Index indicates home values are stabilizing, doesn’t necessarily make it true. Real estate is a local phenomenon and the Case-Shiller Index tracks just 20 U.S. cities. Here in the North Georgia Mountains, we have seen a steady increase practically from the first of the year beginning in February. In Towns, Union, Fannin and Gilmer counties our Median Sales Price has dropped 12% but appears to be stabilizing. Even better news, we have experienced a 10% increase in the number of homes sold, and a 49% increase in the number of homes under contract. It sure looks like we can begin to say that we have reached or at least are very near “The Bottom.”
Residents of every other town are unaccounted for.
Additionally, even within the 20 tracked cities, there are distinct neighborhoods and pockets that are under-performing the general market — just as there are those that are over-performing. The Case-Shiller Index can’t get that granular.
Despite its imperfections, the Case-Shiller Index remains a helpful, broader measurement of U.S. real estate. Economists believe that housing led the U.S. into the recession and they believe housing will lead us out, too.
If that’s true, May’s figures are the next step in the right direction.
Please come back to “The Porch” often for updated North Georgia Mountain Real Estate Market Reports. If you have any questions or concerns about anything in this article, please contact me at 706.994.8686. or you can email me at [email protected].
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