On Monday, a reader took issue with my statement that "there seems little question that the the housing market is finally stabilizing," because I wasn't incorporating woeful home price data into the equation.
But today, the most recent release of the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index reports that for the first time in three years, home prices rose, on a month-to-month basis. (Although this is only true for non-seasonally adjusted data. On a seasonally adjusted basis, as Calculated Risk points out, prices are still falling.)
The S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index rose 0.5 percent from April, the first monthly gain since July 2006 and biggest since May of that year, the group said today in New York. The measure was down 17.1 percent from May 2008, less than forecast and the smallest year-over-year drop in nine months.
A 17 percent yearly drop still indicates a housing market in a lot of pain. FreeExchange notes that some important and economic significantly regional markets, namely "Phoenix, Los Angeles, Miami, Tampa, Las Vegas, and Seattle continue to see declining home values." But in line with all the other recent reports from the housing sector, a consensus seems to be emerging. We appear to be moving away from the slowing-rate-of-decline stage and closer to the actual bottom.