The S&P/Case-Shiller Index, a closely watched indicator for the new housing market, has reported a monthly increase in prices for its 10- and 20-city composites for the first time in eight months. The composites were up 0.8% and 0.7%, respectively, in April versus March.
However, both indices are lower than a year ago, with the 10-city composite down 3.1% and the 20-city composite off 4.0% from its April 2010 levels.
Six of the 20 MSAs tracked by Case-Shiller showed new index lows in April -- Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, Miami and Tampa. Thirteen of the cities and both composites posted positive monthly changes.
“In a welcome shift from recent months, this month is better than last [because] April’s numbers beat March,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. “However, the seasonally adjusted numbers show that much of the improvement reflects the beginning of the spring-summer home-buying season. It is much too early to tell if this is a turning point or simply due to some warmer weather.”