The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, reported a 16.6% annual gain in May, up from 14.8% in the previous month. The 10-City Composite annual increase came in at 16.4%, up from 14.5% in the previous month. The 20-City Composite posted a 17.0% year-over-year gain, up from 15.0% in the previous month.
Phoenix, San Diego, and Seattle reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities in May. Phoenix led the way with a 25.9% year-over-year price increase, followed by San Diego with a 24.7% increase and Seattle with a 23.4% increase. All 20 cities reported higher price increases in the year ending May 2021 versus the year ending April 2021.
Before seasonal adjustment, the U.S. National Index posted a 2.1% month-over-month increase in May, while the 10-City and 20-City Composites both posted increases of 1.9% and 2.1%, respectively.
After seasonal adjustment, the U.S. National Index posted a month-over-month increase of 1.7%, and the 10-City and 20-City Composites both posted increases of 1.7% and 1.8%, respectively. In May, all 20 cities reported increases before and after seasonal adjustments.
"Housing price growth set a record for the second consecutive month in May 2021," says Craig J. Lazzara, Managing Director and Global Head of Index Investment Strategy at S&P DJI. "The National Composite Index marked its twelfth consecutive month of accelerating prices with a 16.6% gain from year-ago levels, up from 14.8% in April. This acceleration is also reflected in the 10- and 20-City Composites (up 16.4% and 17.0%, respectively). The market's strength continues to be broadly-based: all 20 cities rose, and all 20 gained more in the 12 months ended in May than they had gained in the 12 months ended in April. Prices in 18 of our 20 cities now stand at all-time highs, as do the National Composite and both the 10- and 20-City indices.
"A month ago, I described April's performance as "truly extraordinary," and this month I find myself running out of superlatives. The 16.6% gain is the highest reading in more than 30 years of S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller data. As was the case last month, five cities – Charlotte, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, and Seattle – joined the National Composite in recording their all-time highest 12-month gains. Price gains in all 20 cities were in the top quartile of historical performance; in 17 cities, price gains were in top decile.
"We have previously suggested that the strength in the U.S. housing market is being driven in part by reaction to the COVID pandemic, as potential buyers move from urban apartments to suburban homes. May's data continue to be consistent with this hypothesis. This demand surge may simply represent an acceleration of purchases that would have occurred anyway over the next several years. Alternatively, there may have been a secular change in locational preferences, leading to a permanent shift in the demand curve for housing. More time and data will be required to analyze this question.
"Phoenix's 25.9% increase led all cities for the 24th consecutive month, with San Diego (+24.7%) and Seattle (+23.4%) close behind. As was the case last month, prices were strongest in the West (+19.9%) and Southwest (+19.8%), but every region logged double-digit gains."
Table 1 below shows the housing boom/bust peaks and troughs for the three composites along with the current levels and percentage changes from the peaks and troughs.