Another housing index, this time the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, reports rising U.S. home prices this season. Home prices rose 4.9 percent in May compared to the same time last year, according to the index released today. The 20-city composite index tracks prices in metropolitan areas including Chicago. Read the news release.
David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P, said first-time homebuyers — who may be concerned about coming up with a down payment — are a weak spot in the housing market. When first-time buyers hold off on purchasing a home, it impacts the overall housing market activity because their demand drives existing homeowners to consider selling their home, boosting inventory.