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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

S&P Case-Shiller: House Prices Decline in August

by Bill McBride on 10/28/2008 09:12:00 AM

S&P/Case-Shiller released their monthly Home Price Indices for August this morning. This includes prices for 20 individual cities, and two composite indices (10 cities and 20 cities). Note: This is not the quarterly national house price index.

Case-Shiller House Prices Indices Click on graph for larger image in new window.

The first graph shows the nominal Composite 10 and Composite 20 indices (the Composite 20 was started in January 2000).

The Composite 10 index is off 22.0% from the peak.

The Composite 20 index is off 20.3% from the peak.

Prices are still falling, and will probably continue to fall for some time.

Case-Shiller House Prices Indices The second graph shows the Year over year change in both indices.

The Composite 10 is off 17.7% over the last year.

The Composite 20 is off 16.6% over the last year.

The following graph shows the price declines from the peak for each city included in S&P/Case-Shiller indices.

Case-Shiller Price Declines In Phoenix and Las Vegas, home prices have declined about 36% from the peak. At the other end of the spectrum, prices in Charlotte and Dallas are only off about 3% from the peak.

This shows the difference between the bubble areas (Krugman in 2005 called the "Zoned Zones") and the "Flatland" areas.

There was a bubble in Flatland too caused by the rapid migration from renting to buying - facilitated by loose lending - that pushed up Flatland prices. But those bubbles were small compared to the bubbles in the Zoned Zones.

Now that the bubble has burst, prices in the more bubbly Zoned Zones are falling much more than in Flatland.

Detroit is an exception with prices off 27% from the peak, even though Detroit never had a price bubble. The reason is Detroit has a weak economy and a declining population. Since housing is very durable, there is excess supply in Detroit, and prices for existing homes are below replacement costs.

Another exception is New York. Prices in New York are only off 10.6% even though New York is part of the Zoned Zone. New York had a price bubble, but until recently prices had held up pretty well.

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