US Macro Updates

The One Stop Portal for US Macroeconomic Data. Simplified and Summarized! 

We simplify and summarize key data so that you don’t have to spend hours reading confusing and long media releases. Read key economic releases and major events here in under 2 minutes. And we will explain the key takeaway for you. Stay informed and form a robust view on macroeconomic matters to aid your successful investment decisions

30th Apr 2024

S&P/Case Shiller House Price Index

Key takeaway: The US Residential Real estate market remains centerstage to have a view of the US economy as a whole. From that perspective, the latest release of the S&P Core Logic Case Shiller House Price Index was a very important one. After registering monthly increases for almost the whole of 2023, the S&P/Case Shiller House Price Index registered a negative m-o-m prints for 3 months in a row in November, December and January – albeit on a NSA basis. It is common for house prices to decline during the winter months as purchase activity reduces. Nonetheless, 3 back to back monthly decreases were noteworthy, especially after house prices have run up so high in the recent years. High mortgage rates, higher new listing and an increasing inventory of homes both in the existing home and new home market were expected to keep a lid on house prices overall. However, in a rather surprising development, US house prices accelerated once again in February. The National Index (non seasonally adjusted) rose a substantial 0.6% from the previous moth. This brings the total y-o-y increase to 6.4% higher than the 6.0% seen in January. The 10-city and 20-city composite indexes were up as well. Last spring similar trends emerged with home prices starting to rise in February and March before cooling down in the late summer period. The 0.6% rise in the month of February 2024 is even higher than the 0.2% rise seen last year in the month of February 2023 and higher than the 0.2% average increase seen in February from 2015 to 2019. While this is not a great sign from the perspective of balance returning to the US housing market, it does provide some indications of the US market rationalizing and adjusting to an environment of higher for longer interest rates. It will be interesting to note if this acceleration in prices continues through the summer. Lastly, this also has a downstream impact on rental prices. Shelter inflation has been the elephant in the CPI room and it is still not showing any signs of decline in the official CPI data.  

26th Mar 2024

Key takeaway: The US Residential Real estate market remains centerstage to have a view of the US economy as a whole. After registering monthly increases for almost the whole of 2023, the S&P/Case Shiller House Price Index registered a negative m-o-m prints for 3 months in a row in November, December and January – albeit on a NSA basis. The National NSA Index declined 0.11% in January. It is common for house prices to decline during the winter months as purchase activity reduces. Nonetheless, 3 back to back monthly decreases are noteworthy, especially after house prices have run up so high in the recent years. While it still might be too early to state that this is a beginning of a secular downward trend in house prices, there is every indication that activity might pick up in the Existing Home Sales market in terms of increasing inventory and more seller being willing to list their homes for sale. With inventory increasing and more sellers willing to let go of their home, home prices might moderate from the recent highs. To get a full picture of US Residential Real Estate in the past 3 years, please read the prior months’ notes below. It is also key to note that even though the House Price Index has been declining in the recent months in line with seasonal patterns it is still increasing on a year on year basis. That is mostly attributable to the fact that House Prices had sharply fallen in 2H 2022 into early 2023. As more inventory returns to the existing home sales market, overall US national home prices might continue to moderate.  

27th Feb 2024

Key takeaway: After registering monthly increases for almost the whole of 2023, the S&P/Case Shiller House Price Index registered a negative m-o-m print for the second month in a row, albeit on a NSA basis. It is common for house prices to decline during the winter months as purchase activity reduces. Nonetheless, 2 back to back monthly decreases are noteworthy. To some extent, this was expected. The monthly increases in the Index had been moderating for a few months now. To be specific – the Index had gained 0.17% in October, 0.3% m-o-m in September following a 0.4% increase in August, 0.6% increase in July, 0.9% increase in June and a 1.2% in May. While it still might be too early to state that this is a beginning of a secular downward trend in house prices, there is every indication that activity might pick up in the Existing Home Sales market in terms of increasing inventory and more seller being willing to list their homes for sale. With inventory increasing and more sellers willing to let go of their home, home prices might moderate from the recent highs. Once again to reiterate the story of US Real Estate so far – Even though interest rates rose substantially in the past 18-24 months, US Residential House Prices did not fall – in fact they rose through most of 2023. In 2022, as the Fed embarked on the fastest and largest tightening program ever since Paul Volcker’s days, the fear and consensus expectation was for the housing market to crash. House prices did fall in late 2022 but for only a short period of time. In an unusual turn of events, as rates increased further, more home owners started to experience the “rate lock” phenomenon and supply of houses fell dramatically. On the other hand, despite higher mortgage rates and lower affordability, resilient demand kept a floor below residential purchases and home prices started increasing once again. This trend might finally be coming to an end and we might potentially see an increase in inventory in both the existing and new homes market. The last point to note though is that the Case Shiller Index data comes with a significant lag. The December Index is reflective of contracts signed in the months before December. Mortgage rates have since fallen even further in December and January

30th Jan 2024

Key takeaway: After registering monthly increases for almost the whole of 2023, the S&P/Case Shiller House Price Index registered a negative m-o-m print, albeit on a NSA basis. It is common for house prices to decline during the winter months as purchase activity reduces. Nonetheless, the decrease is noteworthy since it is the first since January 2023. To some extent, this was expected. The monthly increases in the Index had been moderating for a few months now. To be specific – the Index had gained 0.17% in October, 0.3% m-o-m in September following a 0.4% increase in August, 0.6% increase in July, 0.9% increase in June and a 1.2% in May. While it might be too early to state that this is a beginning of a secular downward trend in house prices, there is every indication that activity might pick up in the Existing Home Sales market in terms of increasing inventory and more seller being willing to list their homes for sale. Once again to reiterate the story of US Real Estate so far – Even though interest rates rose substantially in the past 18-24 months, US Residential House Prices did not fall – in fact they rose through most of 2023. In 2022, as the Fed embarked on the fastest and largest tightening program ever since Paul Volcker’s days, the fear and consensus expectation was for the housing market to crash. House prices did fall in late 2022 but for only a short period of time. In an unusual turn of events, as rates increased further, more home owners started to experience the “rate lock” phenomenon and supply of houses fell dramatically. On the other hand, despite higher mortgage rates and lower affordability, resilient demand kept a floor below residential purchases and home prices started increasing once again. This trend might finally be coming to an end and we might potentially see an increase in inventory in both the existing and new homes market. The last point to note though is that the Case Shiller Index data comes with a significant lag. The November Index is reflective of contracts signed in the months before November. Mortgage rates have since fallen even further in December and January

26th Dec 2023

Key takeaway: The story of US Real Estate – Even though interest rates have had a stratospheric rise in the past 18-24 months, US Residential House Prices have not fallen – in fact they have risen. In 2022, as the Fed embarked on the fastest and largest tightening program ever since Paul Volcker’s days, the fear and consensus expectation was for the housing market to crash. However, this has been the shortest housing downturn in the history of the US. The S&P / Case Shiller House Price Index peaked in June 2022 and then started falling as the initial interest rate hikes started to take effect. However, in an unusual turn of events, as rates increased further, more home owners started to experience the “rate lock” phenomenon and supply of houses fell dramatically. On the other hand, despite higher mortgage rates and lower affordability, resilient demand kept a floor below residential purchases and home prices, which had experienced a mild decline in the second half of 2022, started increasing once again. The latest release of the S&P Case Shiller Price Index showed the National home price NSA Index reported a 0.17% increase in October. The increase was a slight moderation from the relatively large monthly jumps seen in recent times. To be specific – the Index had gained 0.3% m-o-m in September following a 0.4% increase in August, 0.6% increase in July, 0.9% increase in June and a 1.2% the month earlier in May. The Index is now up 4.8% on a y-o-y basis. The last point to note though is that the Case Shiller Index data comes with a significant lag. The October Index is reflective of contracts signed in the months before October. Mortgage rates have since fallen in November and beyond. There is also an expectation that the supply of homes will gradually increase as sellers gets used to this new normal and decide not to delay putting their house on the market any further. This may put a floor under the Existing Home Sales market as well as taper some of the recent price gains. 

28th Nov 2023

Key takeaway: Even though interest rates have had a stratospheric rise in the past 18-24 months, US Residential House Prices have not fallen – in fact they have risen. In 2022, as the Fed embarked on the fastest and largest tightening program ever since Paul Volcker’s days, the fear and consensus expectation was for the housing market to crash. However, this has been the shortest housing downturn in the history of the US. The S&P / Case Shiller House Price Index peaked in June 2022 and then started falling as the initial interest rate hikes started to take effect. However, in an unusual turn of events, as rates increased further, more home owners started to experience the “rate lock” phenomenon and supply of houses fell dramatically. On the other hand, despite higher mortgage rates and lower affordability, resilient demand kept a floor below residential purchases and home prices, which had experienced a mild decline in the second half of 2022, started increasing once again. The latest release of the S&P Case Shiller Price Index showed the National home price NSA Index reported a NSA 0.3% m-o-m gain in September following a 0.4% increase in August, 0.6% increase in July, 0.9% increase in June and a 1.2% the month earlier in May. The Index is now up 3.93% on a y-o-y basis. The last point to note though is that the Case Shiller Index data comes with a significant lag. The September Index is reflective of contracts signed in the months before September. Mortgage rates had increased even further in October and real estate purchase activity is more likely to diminish going forward. Also it is likely that the supply of homes will gradually increase as sellers gets used to this new normal and decide not to delay putting their house on the market any further.

31st Oct 2023

Key takeaway: House prices continue to rise in the US. In 2022, as the Fed embarked on the fastest and largest tightening program ever since Paul Volcker’s days, the fear and consensus expectation was for the housing market to crash. However, this has been the shortest housing downturn in the history of the US. The latest release of the S&P / Case Shiller House Price Index data shows a continuing recovery in house prices which bottomed around mid-2022. Similar to other private measures of the residential real estate sector, the S&P Case Shiller house price indices recorded a positive m-o-m increase for the month of August 2023 (released in October 2023). The National home price NSA Index reported a NSA 0.4% m-o-m gain in August following a 0.6% increase in July, 0.9% increase in June and a 1.2% the month earlier in May. On a SA basis though, the monthly index gain reaccelerated from 0.65% in July to 0.9% in August. Irrespective of the differences due to seasonality, the key point remains that the drop in residential real estate prices that most were expecting same time last year, has not materialized at all. Without going into intricate details, the reason remains resilient new houses demand and shortage of overall supply of houses in the US. On a year on year basis, the National Index is now up 2.6%. The last point to note though is that the Case Shiller Index data comes with a significant lag. The August Index is reflective of contracts signed in the months before August. Mortgage rates have since reached stratospheric levels and real estate purchase activity is more likely to diminish going forward. 

26th Sep 2023

Key takeaway: House prices continue to rise in the US. In 2022, as the Fed embarked on the fastest and largest tightening program ever since Paul Volcker’s days, the fear and consensus expectation was for the housing market to crash. However, this has been the shortest housing downturn in the history of the US. The latest release of the S&P / Case Shiller House Price Index data shows a continuing recovery in house prices which bottomed around mid-2022. Similar to other private measures of the residential real estate sector, the S&P Case Shiller house price indices recorded a positive m-o-m increase for the month of July 2023 (released in September 2023). The National home price NSA Index reported a NSA 0.6% m-o-m gain in July following a 0.9% increase in June and a 1.2% the month earlier in May. The 10-city and 20-city NSA composites posted increases of approximately 0.6% each. There are two key points to understand about the continuous rise in house prices. First, this is lending a lot of strength to the “no recession” camp. Second, the second order effects of this rise in house prices risk an upsurge in CPI, both in the overall spending by consumers and the eventual effect of increasing rents in the US 

29th Aug 2023

Key takeaway: House prices continue to rise in the US. In 2022, as the Fed embarked on the fastest and largest tightening program ever since Paul Volcker’s days, the fear and consensus expectation was for the housing market to crash. However, this has been the shortest housing downturn in the history of the US. The latest release of the S&P / Case Shiller House Price Index data shows a continuing recovery in house prices which bottomed around mid-2022. Similar to other private measures of the residential real estate sector, the S&P Case Shiller house price indices recorded a positive m-o-m increase for the month of June 2023 (released in August 2023). The National home price NSA Index reported a NSA 0.9% m-o-m gain in June following a 1.2% the month earlier in May. The 10-city and 20-city NSA composites posted increases of 0.9% each. On a year on year basis though, the home price index is mostly flat or slightly down (for all three indices). There are two key points to understand about the continuous rise in house prices. First, that this is lending a lot of strength to the “no recession” camp. Second, the second order effects of this rise in house prices risk an upsurge in CPI, both in the overall spending by consumers and the eventual effect of increasing rents in the US. 

25th Jul 2023

Key takeaway: House prices continue to rise in the US. In 2022, as the Fed embarked on the fastest and largest tightening program ever since Paul Volcker’s days, the fear and consensus expectation was for the housing market to crash. However, this has been the shortest housing downturn in the history of the US. The latest release of the S&P / Case Shiller House Price Index data shows a continuing recovery in house prices which bottomed around mid-2022. Similar to other private measures of the residential real estate sector, the S&P Case Shiller house price indices recorded a positive m-o-m increase for the month of May 2023 (released in Jul 2023). The National home price NSA Index reported a NSA 1.2% m-o-m gain in May. The 10-city and 20-city NSA composites posted increases of 1.5% each. There are two key points to understand about the continuous rise in house prices. First, that this is lending a lot of strength to the “no recession” camp. Second, the second order effects of this rise in house prices risk an upsurge in CPI, both in the overall spending by consumers and the eventual effect of increasing rents in the US. 

27th Jun 2023

Key takeaway: House prices continue to rise in the US. The latest release of the S&P / Case Shiller House Price Index data shows a continuing recovery in house prices which bottomed around mid-2022. Similar to other private measures of the residential real estate sector, the S&P Case Shiller house price indices recorded a positive m-o-m increase for the month of Apr 2023 (released in Jun 2023). The National home price NSA Index reported a NSA 1.3% m-o-m gain in Apr. The 10-city and 20-city NSA composites posted increases of 1.7% and 1.7%. The continuous rise in house prices is lending a lot of strength to the “no recession” camp. 

30th May 2023

Key takeaway: The latest release of the S&P / Case Shiller House Price Index data shows a continuing recovery in house prices. Similar to other private measures of the residential real estate sector, the S&P Case Shiller house price indices recorded a positive m-o-m increase for the month of Mar 2023 (released in May 2023). The National home price NSA Index reported a 1.3% m-o-m gain in Mar. The 10-city and 20-city composites posted increases of 1.6% and 1.5%. After seasonal adjustments, the national index posted 0.4% m-o-m and the 10-city and 20-city indexes posted increases of 0.6% and 0.5% respectively. House prices, as recorded with this Index, had started falling mid 2022. However, the decline is house prices has turned a corner now with 2 continuous months of price increases. The shortage of homes in the existing home sales market together with continued buyer resilience, has put a floor under the house prices declines. Given this and other recent economic indicators, it is not surprising to see the Fed funds futures market price another 25 basis points rate hike at the June meeting!

25th Apr 2023

Key takeaway: Similar to other private measures of the residential real estate sector, the S&P Case Shiller house price indices recorded a positive m-o-m increase for the month of Feb 2023 (released in Apr 2023). Consensus expectations were for the indices to move lower on a m-o-m basis. The National home price NSA Index reported a 0.2% m-o-m gain in Feb. The 10-city and 20-city composites posted increases of 0.3% and 0.2%. After seasonal adjustments, the national index posted 0.2% m-o-m and the 10-city and 20-city indexes posted increases of 0.1%. The moderation of the declining home prices trend is now being uniformly seen across various private indicators. It will be interesting to watch whether the downward trend re-commences in the subsequent months or do home prices stabilize at this level. The level of house prices also have a direct effect on shelter inflation – albeit with a lag.

The S&P Core Logic Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are widely followed measures of US residential real estate prices that track changes in the value of residential estate nationally. The Home Price Indices are calculated monthly using a three-month moving average. Index levels are published with a two-month lag and are released at 9 am EST on the last Tuesday of every month. Index performance is based on non-seasonally adjusted data. The Indices track repeat sales of houses using a modified version of the weighted-repeat sales methodology proposed by Karl Case and Robert Shiller and Allan Weiss. This means that, to a large extent, it is able to adjust for the quality of the homes sold, unlike simple averages.

S&P Core Logic Case-Shiller Home Price Indices