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U.S. Home Prices Increased Below Expectations in October

U.S. Home Prices Increased Below Expectations in October

This story originally appeared on Zacks

Pre-market futures are trying to hold in the green this Tuesday, looking to extend a proper Santa Claus Rally going into the end of 2021. Though end-of-year rallies are more or less expected by market participants, this one caps off an extraordinary year: one that celebrated the end of the pandemic before doing battle with two new major variants of Covid-19, saw a return to normal employment levels with higher wage growth, and also higher inflation metrics to go along with it.

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Throughout today’s pre-market, however, we’re seeing these gains dwindle: the Dow, which had been +80 points an hour prior to the open, dropped to +20 and is now slightly in the red; the Nasdaq was +75 points but is now +30 points; and the S&P, which had been +12 points is now +3. The S&P 500 has set new closing highs in the past two sessions (now 69 total new closing highs for 2021). Whichever index you prefer, we’ve seen robust growth year-to-date: the Dow +20%, the Nasdaq +25% and the S&P +30%.

Despite announcing the temporary closure of its stores in New York City, Apple (AAPL) continues to make gains this morning, up nearly +40% since the beginning of January and only $2 and change from reaching an incredible market valuation of $3 trillion in its share price. The tech giant is nicely aligned with all present (iPhone) and future (metaverse) technological developments, and is fully excused from taking the precaution of not spreading the Omicron variant through its shops in Manhattan for now.

The Case-Shiller Home Price Index for the month of October (a month in arrears from most economic surveys, but widely considered the most accurate in terms of home pricing) came in slightly below expectations to +19.1%. This is still in the higher range of home prices according to the survey, as we see +19.7% from September, which, when also hit in July marked an all-time high. That said, it’s the third straight month of slowing growth in home prices.

All 20 cities in the larger composite made gains for the month, though 14 of them showed decelerating rates. Leading the pack was Phoenix at +32.3%, followed by Tampa at +28.1% and Miami at +25.7%. Appreciation of home value is far stronger than what we were seeing a year ago, although early 2021 contained plenty of hope the Covid pandemic would soon be over, only to be met with supply constraints, which worked against the boom in home buying. As of October, however, we see this market rebounding, now absorbing these historically high prices.

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