Apparently, every day brings us more reasons to believe that everything is getting better. A recent example is summarized in Bloomberg's report titled Housing Exuberance Led by Shiller's U.S. Glamorous Cities.
Given that the index is available online, there is no reason not to look at it ourselves and see where this exuberance is coming from.
The Composite-10 measure is at a not seasonally adjusted value of 148.40 for April 2012 which is actually about 2.3% lower than its April 2011 value of 151.78. The Composite-20 measure is at a not seasonally adjusted value of 135.80 for April 2012 which is actually about 1.9% lower than its April 2011 value of 138.43.
We can also look at all included cities:
If that's too crowded for you, here are just the composites:
Of course, prices without a measure of volume don't mean much. Below, I normalized the two composites so that their January 2007 values are set to 100:
Conclusion: Home prices and sales fell. There are occasional upticks and downticks, mostly related to the seasonal nature of home sales, but if these data can make you exuberant, you must have very low expectations to being with.
And, just in case you might be thinking the seasonally adjusted data show something different, here are the adjusted composites:
There will always be variations across regions. What matters is where things are going overall. The answers seems to be nowhere in particular.
The Bloomberg report singles out certain areas. Let's look at them in turn.
The April 2012 value of the price index is 8.62% higher than April 2011, but volume is 19.32% lower.
April 2012 price index is 0.96% lower and the volume index is 8.51% higher than the April 2011 values.
Price index rose by 0.81% from April 2011 to April 2012 whereas volume fell by 11.03%
April 2012 price index is 3.17% higher than April 2011. Volume index fell by 3.62% compared to a year before.
CA-San Francisco (SFXR)
In April 2012, the price index fell by -1.36% from a year before and volume fell by 4.93%.
Atlanta was not mentioned in the story. The price index fell by 17% in April compared to April 2011, but volume was up 149.33%.
Composite-10 price index was 2.23% lower in April 2012 than in April 2011 and volume was 6.09% lower.
Composite-20 price index was 1.9% lower in April 2012 than in April 2011 and volume was 0.45% lower.
Boston, Denver, and Dallas saw both higher prices and higher volume in April 2012 than in April 2011.