Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Portland Existing Home Prices Drop 4% in March

The median price of existing homes in the metro Portland area fell 4% year over year in March 2008 according to Case Shiller, continuing the trend that began in July 2007. This is down 6.5% from the peak in July 2007.

The chart above clearly shows the bubble deflating, and also shows a bit of a plateau over the winter as sales slowed and seller's held out that prices would rebound in the spring. Prices have clearly started accelerating downwards as the fundamental issues driving the price declines (lack of financing for buyer's with poor credit or low down-payments, prices vs. income ratios out of whack, too much inventory, etc) have not changed.

The price index has fallen to 174.39, less than the point in May 2006 (175.20).

Prices in Seattle and Portland are still following the national trend with a one year delay, as the previous chart above shows. National price declines show no signs of slowing, which indicates that Portland is likely in for the same ride.

The Case Shiller data focuses on the change in price of existing homes, and tries to exclude the effects of remodeling, or major damage. It tries to exclude investment properties and foreclosures (which would make the data look worse) as well as transfers between family members. It's a much better indicator of how the price of the average or typical house has changed from year to year. For full details on their methodology see their factsheet.


MiTurn said...

It is truly a wonder how anyone could imagine that those inflated prices for real estate were sustainable. Economic fundamentals being what they are, it is obvious that prices still have to come down even further. I pity those folks who bought in 2006 and 2007, and question the sanity of anyone who buys now. The bottom has yet to be reached.

Anonymous said...

hotdam grab the popcorn, pop a beer, this is gunna be good