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The Week Ahead: Prices Near Bubble Levels, But Don’t Panic

Home price appreciation has been a much-talked about topic in the housing industry. It has averaged approximately 5 percent over the last year and is expected to average another 5 percent for the next 12 months.

The S&P CoreLogic Case Shiller National Index for July 2016 was just half a percentage point away from its all-time high set in 2006 during the housing bubble. Now, the industry will find out what August’s index holds when it is published on Tuesday, October 25.

The fact that the index is so close to its pre-crisis peak does not mean that a bubble is coming, however—even though this pace of price appreciation is probably not sustainable over the long term, said David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

“The run-up to the financial crisis was marked with both rising home prices and rapid growth in mortgage debt,” Blitzer said. “Currently, outstanding mortgage debt on one-to-four family homes is 12.6 percent below the peak seen in the first quarter of 2008 and up less than 2 percent in the last four quarters. There is no reason to fear that another massive collapse is around the corner.”

New Home Sales—Wednesday, October 26

HUD and the Census Bureau will jointly publish the new residential home sales report for September 2016 on Wednesday, October 26.

In August, new home sales were down from their July numbers but way ahead of where they were in August of 2015. Sales of new single-family houses in August reached 609,000, which was 7.6 percent below July’s 659,000, but 20.6 percent above August 2015. The drop off is also slower than it has been the last few months.

“New home sales in August grew strongly, and capped the best 12-month span since September of 2008,” said Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at Trulia. “Post-recession, homebuyers continue to turn to new homes as the inventory of existing homes on the market dwindles.

This week’s schedule

Tuesday, October 25
S&P CoreLogic Case Shiller Home Price Index for August 2016, 9 a.m. EST

FHFA House Price Index for August 2016, 9 a.m. EST

Wednesday, October 26
HUD/Census Bureau New Home Sales for September 2016, 10 a.m. EST

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a Harding University graduate with a degree in English and a minor in writing. He is a contributing writer for MReport. An East Texas Native, he has studied abroad in Athens, Greece and works part-time as a photographer.
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