Jul 7th 2011 THE ECONOMIST
By our calculations, however, America’s housing market has overshot the fair-value mark, as measured by the long-run average ratio of house prices to rents. Rents are rising: an increase in the cost of rental housing contributed to May’s robust American inflation data. With home ownership looking a better deal, prices should stabilise. The Case-Shiller index posted a month-on-month increase in April for the first time since July 2010. It was not alone in showing gains. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) price series ticked up in April for the first time since May 2010, and the CoreLogic index of home prices, a favourite of the Federal Reserve, notched price rises in both April and May. The pace of sales has been sluggish but an index of pending home sales posted a surprisingly large gain in May.