The Washington Post seems to have made it a goal to get everything possible about the housing market wrong. Its article today on the Case-Shiller June price index attributed the slower price growth in part to higher interest rates. This makes no sense.

The Case-Shiller index is an average of three months data. The June release is based on the price of houses that were closed in April, May, and June. Since there is typically 6-8 weeks between when a contract is signed and when a sale is completed these houses would have come under contract in the period from February to May. This is a period before there was any real rise in interest rates.

 

FRED Graph

Interest rates first exceeded their winter levels at the end of May and then increased more in June and July. We will first begin to see a limited impact of higher interest rates in the Case Shilller index in the July data and the impact of the rise will not be fully apparent until the October index is released.

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