Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Portland Exisitng Home Prices Plateau - Case Shiller

The median price of existing homes in the metro Portland area fell 5.2% year over year in May 2008 according to Case Shiller, continuing the trend that began in July 2007. This is down 5.9% from the peak in July 2007.

The chart above clearly shows that 1. there was a bubble in Portland, and 2. it is now deflating. The chart 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. Have I mentioned I like charts?

We're also seeing a bit of a plateau right now as peak buying season is in effect. This is seasonal so don't expect it to continue rising all year.
The chart above shows the price index over the past few years. You can see a slight increase in the median price the past two months which corresponds with the seasonality seen in previous years.The above chart shows Portland, Seattle, the San Francisco bay area (the other areas I consider as closest to Portland) as well as the 20-city composite index. Portland and Seattle are tracking each other nicely, still about a year behind the rest of the market. The San Francisco area has really fallen off the cliff and continues to plummet.
The final chart shows the price index over the past 8 years. Prices have now fallen back to the May 2006 level, but look to have stabilized through the summer buying season.

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.

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Perplexed said...

My daughter lives in the Bay Area, I too have been watching their market. In this SMSA several communities have just imploded.. Vallejo and Oakland are prime examples. In other areas prices are, essentially, stable.

I don't think SFO has fallen off a cliff generally. There is always price bleed-through to neighboring communities with similar demographics (Benica, Concord come to my mind) but pennies on the dollar in Menlo Park, Los Altos, San Francisco... let me know if you find one.

PDX Outsider said...


I have seen the same thing. But I also believe that those areas are substitutes for each other. I've lived in Berkeley (GO BEARS!) and San Francisco, and while some San Franciscan's wouldn't be caught dead in the bridge and tunnel crowd, there are plenty of others who will relocate to cheaper digs.

I assume it's the same here and elsewhere. We have areas here that have collapsed (Happy Valley) and others that have stagnated.

It remains to be seen how well the areas that are holding up today do in the long term.