Case-Shiller: Seattle Home Prices Post New Record Drop

It’s time once again for our monthly check-in of the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices (HPI).

For an explanation of how the Case-Shiller data is calculated, check out their methodology pdf. Also remember that the data released on the last Tuesday of a given month is for the period two months prior (i.e. – December data is released in February).

Here are the basic Case-Shiller stats for the Seattle area* as of December:

December 2008
Month to Month: Down 3.6%
Year to Year: Down 13.4%
Change from Peak: Down 16.7% in 17 months

The following chart shows the Seattle HPI scaled such that the July 2007 peak is 100% on the y-axis. Data on the x-axis is scaled to display the last time (pre-peak) the Seattle HPI was at or lower than it was in the latest data (September 2005).


According to the Case-Shiller index, as of December home prices in Seattle have “rewound” a little over three years.

Here’s a chart of Case-Shiller HPIs for all the markets that Redfin serves, so you can compare Seattle’s performance to other areas across the country:


And here’s our final chart, in which we line up the peak Case-Shiller HPI value for each of Redfin’s markets, so we can see how long each market has been declining, and how much it has dropped from the peak.


Although home prices in Seattle have been declining for less time than most other cities, the price drops off the peak here have been relatively severe, bested only by Los Angeles in Redfin’s 7-city sample. For some perspective, home prices in Seattle have fallen more in 17 months than they have in 39 months in Boston.

*[Case-Shiller defines Seattle as the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties.]