The S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index rose 1.2 percent in July from the prior month, the biggest gain since October 2005, the group said today in
Home values are rebounding as low borrowing costs and government tax credits lift home sales. Combined with rising stock prices, the gains will begin to restore the $13 billion plunge in net worth caused by the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, a process that economists such as Brian Bethune say will take years to complete
Home prices are "a major, major turning point for the economy," said Bethune, chief financial economist at IHS Global Insight in
It was also reported,
Benchmark indexes erased most of an early advance as the Conference Board’s confidence index slipped to 53.1, trailing the median economist estimate of 57. Energy companies led the decline before the introduction of proposed legislation to control global warming. Lennar Corp. and KB Home climbed more than 1.5 percent as the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index fell 13.3 percent in July from a year earlier, the smallest drop in 17 months.
“We’ve had a good rally,” said Randy Bateman, who oversees $13 billion as chief investment officer at Huntington Asset Advisors in
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slid 0.3 percent to 1,060.21 at 12:31 p.m. in
In the meantime, the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Home Builders are pressing for an extension of the tax credit into next year. The Realtors group said in mid-September that 350,000 new buyers would not have purchased a home this year without the credit, which may cost the Treasury as much as $15 billion. Opponents of an extension say it would be too costly to taxpayers. Several bills have been introduced to expand and extend the credit, and earlier this month the White House said its economic team is looking at the various options.