Case-Shiller: DC Home Prices Post Steady Drop in January

Let’s check in on 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. – January data is released in March).

Here are the basic Case-Shiller stats for the Washington DC area* as of January:

January 2009
Month to Month: Down 2.5%
Year to Year: Down 19.3%
Change from Peak: Down 31.5% in 32 months

The following chart shows the DC area HPI scaled such that the May 2006 peak is 100% on the y-axis. Data on the x-axis is scaled to display the last time (pre-peak) the DC area HPI was at or lower than it was in the latest data (February 2004).

dc-case-shiller-peak_2009-01

Price declines in the last few months of data have actually been relatively mild in and around DC, compared to what we’re seeing in other markets around the country. In addition, the drop from December to January held a pretty steady rate that DC has seen since about September. At least it’s a form of “stability,” right?

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

case-shiller-redfin-markets_2009-01

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_2009-01

DC price declines continue to track fairly close to what we’ve seen a few months back over on the West Coast in San Diego. I highly doubt there is any real causal effect at play here, but it is still interesting nonetheless.

*[Case-Shiller defines Washington DC as the entire Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of the District of Columbia and all or part of the following counties: Calvert MD, Charles MD, Frederick MD, Montgomery MD, Prince Georges MD, Alexandria City VA, Arlington VA, Clarke VA, Fairfax VA, Fairfax City VA, Falls Church City VA, Fauquier VA, Fredericksburg City VA, Loudoun VA, Manassas City VA, Manassas Park City VA, Prince William VA, Spotsylvania VA, Stafford VA, Warren VA, and Jefferson WV.]

  • Vanda Greenwood

    One should take into consideration the HUGE area that these numbers represent. Lumping in West Va to Dc is not in the best interests of the public who mis interprets the data.

  • Brett

    Agree with Vanda, citing West Virginia as part of the DC Metro prices really throws off the legitimacy of the area – and show some analysis on how inside the Beltway has held up, versus outside the beltway.

  • Chris

    I agree, prices in side the beltway have lagged behind the rest of the area. Just means that the inner burbs still have further to fall.

  • Kelly

    The Case Shiller index includes only 1 county in WV and 21 other counties.

    The index is far more accurate than any others and infinitely more accurate than anything that would come out of the NAR.

    The index includes:

    District of Columbia DC, Calvert MD,
    Charles MD, Frederick MD, Montgomery
    MD, Prince Georges MD, Alexandria City
    VA, Arlington VA, Clarke VA, Fairfax VA,
    Fairfax City VA, Falls Church City VA,
    Fauquier VA, Fredericksburg City VA,
    Loudoun VA, Manassas City VA, Manassas
    Park City VA, Prince William VA,
    Spotsylvania VA, Stafford VA, Warren VA, Jefferson WV