Case-Shiller Time Machine: June 2008


The S&P/Case-Shiller housing index is out for prices for June 2008. So, it’s that time of the month again — let’s play the Case-Shiller time machine game.

Basically, prices in the U.S. housing market have been falling for about two years now (the index topped out in July 2006) because housing prices had moved way above the historical trend line for far too long. But, prices are falling at a slower rate, suggesting that the bulk of house price falls are behind us (phew!). Prices were down 15.9% year-on-year. The largest year-on-year falls were in bubble cities Miami and Las Vegas at 28 and 29% respectively.

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As we move back to trend, the question on everybody’s mind is: how far does the market in my area have to fall before prices stabilize? That’s a question I can’t answer of course. But I can say that prices are still rising in Charlotte and have fallen the most in Detroit and Cleveland. In some markets like Denver and Atlanta, prices have started rising again after a fall. Even Detroit and Cleveland ticked up slightly in June. I can also show the dates when today’s prices were last registered in each market. This might help give a sense of where we are and where we’re going. On average, we are back to July 2004 prices.

Below is my chart for when you last saw the present market prices in each of the 20 Case-Shiller markets.

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