Home Prices Up 0.8% for February

Mortgage rates, loans, and lack of confidence could all be culprits for a slower housing market recovery.

Apr 29, 2014 at 2:52PM

Home prices are up for February, according to a S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index report (link opens as PDF) released today.

After increasing 0.8% for January, the index's 20-city home-price composite added on another seasonally adjusted 0.8% for the second month of 2014. Analysts had expected a 0.7% price hike -- just shy of actual results. On a nonseasonally adjusted basis, prices held steady at January levels.

On a longer-term basis, however, price growth seems to have slowed. For the 12 months ending in February, the 20-city composite showed average home prices increased 12.9%, down slightly from January's 13.2% boost.

"The annual rates cooled the most we’ve seen in some time," noted David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, in a statement today. "The three California cities and Las Vegas have the strongest increases over the last 12 months as the West continues to lead. Denver and Dallas remain the only cities which have reached new post-crisis price peaks. The Northeast with New York, Washington and Boston are seeing some of the slowest year-over-year gains."

Blitzer also noted that slower price gains isn't translating to higher sales. New home and existing-home sales are "flat to down," even as home prices remain below 2005 levels. Consumer-side challenges include higher mortgage interest rates since May 2013, loan difficulty, and overall lack of consumer confidence.

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4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

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KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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