Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Price recovery, or dead cat bounce? - May Case Shiller

The May 2009 Case Shiller data was released yesterday and May's median price for an existing home in Portland was down 16.3% from May 2008. (click on any chart to expand it to readable size)

The monthly change was up 0.1% from April. Before everybody gets too giddy about the recovery just remember that this is likely just seasonality as prices also rose slightly in May 2008 before continuing to fall. If we see price increases for 3 months in a row then we can start talking about a recovery.

The median Portland home price is now down 21.2% from the peak in July 2007,

At this point if I would predict prices will continue to decline through 2009 and well into 2010.

A reader asked me recently why I focus so much on the price changes, rather than the actual changes. Because by focusing on the change, and the rate of change in prices you get an early indication into future prices. So while prices in other markets may still be declining, the change in price is also declining signaling a bottom to the declines.


The above chart shows growth rates for 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 still tracking each other very closely. Lase month Seattle saw a slight uptick in prices while Portland prices continued to decline. This month the trend reversed with Seattle prices continuing to slide and Portland prices rising slightly.

While the price declines for the overall market appears to have hit bottom, Portland and Seattle have slowed but not reversed. The price declines in the SF Bay Area also seem to have bottomed out and are now slowing. Prices have ticked up for the past few months but it remains to be seen if they will continue or slide again this winter.

The above chart is a recent addition. It shows how Portland is faring compared to other cities. Our maximum price decline is still below average, but as we all know Portland was late to this party, a party most homeowners didn't want an invitation to. As the average improves I predict Portland will be worse than average shortly


This chart shows the price index for the past 8 years. I also added a line in pink that represents an average of 5% growth starting in January 2001. You can see that the current price index is now below the 5% average growth line. An over-correction is to be expected, but we are also probably correcting to a more reasonable 3-4% long term growth rate, or about the rate of inflation. But it's likely that we'll over correct before getting there.


This chart shows the previous bubble in the early 90's, and also shows that Portland prices had never dropped over the past 20 years, until 2008. But as they say, past performance is no guarantee of future performance!

This chart also shows the full available price history for Portland. I'm working to convert it to a log chart which will show the changes better.


The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices measures the residential housing market, tracking changes in the value of the residential real estate market in 20 metropolitan regions across the United States. These indices use the repeat sales pricing technique to measure housing markets. First developed by Karl Case and Robert Shiller, this methodology collects data on single-family home re-sales, capturing re-sold sale prices to form sale pairs. This index family consists of 20 regional indices and two composite indices as aggregates of the regions.

Data presented in the Case Shiller spreadsheets are calculated monthly using a three-month moving average and published with a two month lag.

Add to Technorati Favorites

No comments: