Case Shiller: Prices Are Up (But Not Everywhere, Not if You Adjust for Seasonality)

Big news real estate aficionados! Case Shiller, the Standard & Poor’s index that economists treat as the most reliable measure of home prices, reports this morning that May 2009 home prices increased .45% over April; this is the first such increase since July 2006.

Once we adjust for seasonality – home prices tend to increase in the summer – the gain becomes a loss nationwide of .2% . But even after this adjustment, the Bay Area (.7%), DC (.7%), Chicago (.5%) and Boston (.3%) still gained month-over-month. Year-over-year, prices nationwide are down 17%.

As usual, we’ve prepared a little table that shows the month when each market peaked, the month in the past when prices were last at this level (“the equivalent month”), the size of the drop from the market’s peak, the change since May 2008, and the change since April 2009:

Real Estate Market Date of Peak Equivalent Month Drop from Peak YoY Change MoM Change
Los Angeles Real Estate Market Apr-06 Jul-03 -41.4% -19.8% -0.9%
San Diego Real Estate Market Mar-06 Jul-02 -42.3% -18.5% -0.3%
San Francisco Real Estate Market Mar-06 Aug-00 -45.1% -26.1% 0.7%
Washington DC Real Estate Market Mar-06 Dec-03 -32.8% -14.9% 0.7%
Chicago Real Estate Market Mar-07 Sep-02 -26.4% -17.5% 0.5%
Boston Real Estate Market Nov-05 Dec-02 -18.0% -7.2% 0.3%
New York City Real Estate Market May-06 Apr-04 -20.9% -12.2% -0.1%
Seattle Real Estate Market Jul-07 Apr-05 -22.0% -16.6% -0.8%
Composite 20 Markets May-06 Apr-03 -32.0% -17.1% -0.2%

Small price increases are being seen not only in the existing homes tracked by Case Shiller, but also in the sales of new single-family homes which increased 11% in June; again the strongest increases were in California real estate markets and Washington DC real estate.


  • Starchy

    well then I guess it time for the doom-n-gloomers to jump in the market an buy buy buy!!

  • Glenn Kelman

    I wouldn’t go that far…