Housing Market Showing Signs of Improvement

September 06, 2011 / Russell Legato, Residential Property Analyst

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) June data for the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices has shown mostly positive outlook for the housing market.

Housing Market Showing Signs of Improvement

According to the Index, the 10- and 20-City Composites were each up 1.1 percent for the month, 19 of the 20 cities being covered by the indices were up in June over May, and the National Composite was up 3.6 percent in the second quarter of 2011.

“A closer look at the annual rates of change (which removes any seasonal effect on price changes) is finally showing something marginally positive for the housing market” said Maureen Maitland, S&P Indices vice president.

“Thirteen of the 20 cities and both monthly Composites saw their annual growth rates improve.”

This suggests that home prices, when compared to the same month last year, were better than previously reported, although it is worth noting that this only means they were less negative, Maitland said.

“We need to see this trend continue for many months before we know that home prices have truly stabilized.”

Meanwhile, S&P reported a steady low Australian RMBS Arrears previously amid sound housing market and economic outlook.

“While the losses on various RMBS vintages continue to rise, they still remain low in absolute levels, as shown in the latest issue of the Australian RMBS Performance Watch,” said Peter Eastham Managing Director, Structured Finance Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services.

Loans that are in arrears by more-than-30 days were 1.80 percent in May 2011, as measured by the Standard & Poor’s Australian prime mortgage performance index (SPIN).

“We consider that the outlook for the Australian housing market will remain broadly sound for 2011,” Eastham said.

According toEastham, nationwide measures of housing prices have been modestly weaker since mid-2010.

“We expect that Australia’s sound economic outlook, featuring continued strong labor market support for household debt serviceability, will underpin the stable performance of mortgage portfolios backing Australian RMBS,” he concluded.

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