Case-Shiller: No Spring Bounce in Seattle Yet

It’s time for our monthly check-in of the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices (HPI). For the full source data behind this post, hit the S&P/Case-Shiller website.

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. – March data is released in May).

Here are the basic Case-Shiller stats for the Seattle Area* as of March:

March 2009
Month to Month: Down 2.0%
Year to Year: Down 16.4%
Change from Peak: Down 22.5% in 20 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 (May 2005).


After some fairly major drops in November, December, and January, month-to-month price declines in the Seattle area have toned down somewhat to “just” 2.0% in March. Meanwhile, the year-to-year price drops continue to steadily grow. It will be interesting to see if last year’s April bump is repeated again this year. If not, the year-to-year number could easily bump up to around 20% by June.

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.


Seattle’s relative post-peak performance continues to fall below that of most other markets served by Redfin. The 22.5% total post-peak price drop here is the 13th largest of the 20 markets tracked by Case-Shiller. Phoenix came in the highest at 53.0%, while Dallas is the smallest at just 11.1% off-peak.

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