Latest Case-Shiller home price numbers mixed, but Atlanta shows sharpest decline of major metro areas

I haven’t looked at any of the news reports about today’s release of the August (actually a 3-month average of June, July and August) S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, but I’ll bet there’s some confusion.

Case-Shiller focuses on data that is not seasonally adjusted (NSA) even though there are clear seasonal changes to home prices, with prices typically rising in the spring and summer.

Without the seasonal adjustment (NSA), prices rose very slightly (.2%) in August for both the 10- and 20-city composite indices. With the seasonal adjustment (SA), the prices fell slightly (-.2%) for the 10-city index and was flat for the 20-city.

Atlanta, however, saw August declines of -2.4% in the not seasonally adjusted numbers and -1.7% in the seasonally adjusted numbers. No other major metro area saw changes of more than -.9%.

Year-over-year, Atlanta was down in August 6.3% from 2010. Only Minneapolis, Portland, and Phoenix did worse year-over-year.

This is bad news for the Atlanta market, which has already been hit harder by the housing crisis than most other cities.