Prices of single-family homes across the nation rose in November at the slowest rate in more than a decade, a housing index released Tuesday by Standard & Poor's showed, countering other evidence that the housing slowdown may be nearing an end.
The S&P/Case-Shiller composite index showed a 1.3 percent year-over-year increase in the price of a single-family home based on existing homes tracked over time in 10 metropolitan markets.
For its 20-city composite index, prices grew 1.7 percent, the slowest rate ever for that data, according to the S&P index committee chairman, David Blitzer. That data has been collected since 2001.
"The weakness continues to spread," Blitzer said. "I don't see any signs of a bottom. Unfortunately, it's still looking pretty nasty from a housing point of view."
The last time the growth dipped lower than 1.3 percent for the 10-city index was in September 1996, when it measured 1.2 percent.
First -- the data record is only 5 years old for the 20-city composite index. In addition, the index was started just before the housing bubble started. So comparisons with the last 5 years are to a period of higher-than-average growth.
However, a slowdown in appreciation indicates sellers are just starting to get the message there is too much supply on the market.
On a related note,
"We have more than a million housing units of excess supply," said James O'Sullivan, an economist for UBS. "If you are looking for evidence that the worst is over for housing, you're not going to find it in this report. This argues that housing starts need to go down more."
In other words, don't expect a housing price rebound anytime soon.