Case-Shiller for July shows only small dip

The S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index for July was released yesterday, showing a less than 1 percent dip in high-price-tier homes. Keep in mind that this is the category that is most relevant to our neck of the woods. Case-Shiller also covers four Bay Area counties and is a three-month rolling average, so it’s always a bit behind. San Francisco makes up a very small part of all the house sales being surveyed here, and Case-Shiller home prices reflect offers negotiated in previous months, so the peak in June 2014 reflects the heat of the market in the heart of the spring 2014 selling season.

Are home prices trending down a bit after the spring feeding frenzy? This might be the case, but it’s too early to speculate. We do know, however, that for the past three years home prices have surged in the spring and then plateaued during the summer. If we’re looking for any sort of definitive indicators, we’ll likely have to hold off until the autumn-selling season numbers roll in. Remember, also, that this year’s autumn started with a big surge in the number of new September listings.

The chart that accompanies this story depicts the small dip in July 2014 from the spring peak. Keep in mind that small fluctuations are not particularly meaningful until substantiated by longer-term data.

Here’s a depiction of what’s been happening since the recovery began in earnest in early 2012. You’ll notice the two previous summer price plateaus and now, perhaps the beginning of a third, after spring surges.

And here’s a longer-term overview of real estate cycles. Here’s what you’re going to want to pay attention to – and if you have specific questions, give me a call.

Dreaming of San Francisco? Cece Blase offers local advice to San Francisco buyers, sellers and owners– and feeds the dreams of those who wish they could live in Tony Bennett’s ‘City by the Bay.’ Call 415-577-0809 or email cblase@paragon-re.com. www.ceceblase.com