Recently the folks at HUD improved their monthly “Housing Scorecard” report by making changes to a graph (see below) of past and forward home price indices. They now use the CUS-10 index for historical purposes, and reference the CME futures (which settles on the same CUS-10 index) for values as of December 2011 and forward prices. This makes the graph more of an apples-to-apples set of comparisons versus prior versions. (Click link here for their full February report).
They also changed from using Dec. ’09 to Dec ’11 as the basis for comparing today’s forward markets to where housing market “expectations” stood at some point in the recent past.
All of the changes reinforce the same messages:
- home prices have bottomed,
- “expectations” (as measured by CME futures prices) have risen, and
- forward prices are consistent with improving HPAs (of about 3-4%).
Each of these messages has been reinforced over the last few months with every uptick in the CME contracts.
In addition to this graph, the HUD report is wealth of free, publicly-available information for anyone following trends in home prices and mortgage issues.