Thursday, April 07, 2011

House Prices: Nominal, Real, Price-to-Rent

by Calculated Risk on 4/07/2011 05:09:00 PM

By request, here is an update to a few graphs including the CoreLogic HPI released this morning (the February report is an average of December, January and February prices).

Nominal House Prices

Nominal House PricesClick on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

The first graph shows the quarterly Case-Shiller National Index (through Q4 2010), and the monthly Case-Shiller Composite 20 (through January release) and CoreLogic House Price Indexes (through February release) in nominal terms (as reported).

In nominal terms, the National index is back to Q1 2003 levels, the Composite 20 index is slightly above the May 2009 lows, and the CoreLogic index back to January 2003.

Real House Prices

Real House PricesThe second graph shows the same three indexes in real terms (adjusted for inflation using CPI less Shelter).

Note: some people use other inflation measures to adjust for real prices.

In real terms, the National index is back to Q1 2000 levels, the Composite 20 index is back to January 2001, and the CoreLogic index back to January 2000.

Price-to-Rent

In October 2004, Fed economist John Krainer and researcher Chishen Wei wrote a Fed letter on price to rent ratios: House Prices and Fundamental Value. Kainer and Wei presented a price-to-rent ratio using the OFHEO house price index and the Owners' Equivalent Rent (OER) from the BLS.

Price-to-Rent RatioHere is a similar graph through January 2011 using the Case-Shiller Composite 20 and CoreLogic House Price Index.

This graph shows the price to rent ratio (January 1998 = 1.0).

An interesting point: the measure of Owners' Equivalent Rent (OER) is at about the same level as two years - so the price-to-rent ratio has mostly followed changes in nominal house prices since then. Rents are starting to increase again, and OER will probably increase in 2011 - lowering the price-to-rent ratio.

On a price-to-rent basis, the Composite 20 index is just above the May 2009 levels, and the CoreLogic index is back to January 2000.

I'll have more analysis when the Case-Shiller index is released on April 26th.

Earlier:
CoreLogic: House Prices declined 2.7% in February, Prices now 4.1% below 2009 Lows