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).

seattle-case-shiller-peak_2009-03

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:

case-shiller-redfin-markets_2009-03

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.

case-shiller-peak-declines_2009-03

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.]