Case-Shiller: Seattle Home Prices Hit New Low in Nov.

Let’s have a look at the latest data from the Case-Shiller Home Price Index. According to November data,

Down 0.5% October to November.
Up 0.3% October to November (seasonally adjusted)
Down 10.6% YOY.
Down 22.7% from the July 2007 peak

Last year prices fell 2.5% from October to November (not seasonally adjusted) and year-over-year prices were down 11.2%.

Here’s our offset graph, with L.A. & San Diego time-shifted from Seattle & Portland by 17 months. San Diego’s year-over-year jumped above zero for the first time in over three years. Portland came in at -7.5%, Los Angeles at -3.5%, and San Diego at +0.4%, all better than Seattle.

Case-Shiller HPI: West Coast

Note: This graph is not intended to be predictive. It is for entertainment purposes only.

Here’s an interactive graph of all twenty Case-Shiller-tracked cities, courtesy of Tableau Software (check and un-check the boxes on the right):

Also in positive YOY territory: San Francisco, Denver, and Dallas.

In November, fourteen of the twenty Case-Shiller-tracked cities experienced smaller year-over-year drops (or saw year-over-year increases) than Seattle (same as August through October). Dallas at +1.4%, San Francisco at +1.0, Denver at +0.5%, San Diego at +0.4%, Washington, DC at -0.6%, Boston at -0.7%, Cleveland at -2.5%, Los Angeles at -3.5%, Charlotte at -5.5%, Atlanta at -6.2%, New York at -7.1%, Minneapolis at -6.8%, Portland at -7.5%, and Chicago at -8.5%.

The only other cities still experiencing double-digit year-over-year declines are Miami, Detroit, Tampa, Phoenix, and Las Vegas. Some company.

Here’s an update to the peak-decline graph, inspired by a graph created by reader CrystalBall. This chart takes the twelve cities whose peak index was greater than 175, and tracks how far they have fallen so far from their peak. The horizontal axis shows the total number of months since each individual city peaked.

Case-Shiller HPI: Decline From Peak

In the twenty-eight months since the price peak in Seattle prices have declined 22.7%, a new post-peak low.

Here’s a complementary chart to that last one. This one shows the total change in the index since March for the same twelve markets as the peak decline chart.

Case-Shiller HPI: Bounce Since March 2009

Seattle is actually down since March, as are Las Vegas, Tampa, and New York.

The following chart takes the post-bubble years of 2007, 2008, and 2009 and indexes each January’s Case-Shiller HPI to 100 so we can get a picture of how this year’s declines compare to last year:

Post-Bubble Seattle Case-Shiller HPI by Year

Ever since August 2009 has been out-performing 2008.

Check back tomorrow for a post on the Case-Shiller data for Seattle’s price tiers.

(Home Price Indices, Standard & Poor’s, 01.25.2010)

  

About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

46 comments:

  1. 1

    More interesting is news from about 3 weeks ago, that the median pendings in King County were only $349,900. I’d missed that because the pending data has become so meaningless I don’t tend to follow it as much, but that’s a huge drop ($30,000 from the prior month). You would think that with a period where there were fewer first time buyers in November because of the expiration of the credit, that the median pending would have gone up, or at least not had one of the largest MOM drops in recent history (July 2008 was also a 30k drop, and the median sold dropped 50k the next 4 months).

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  2. 2

    And Don’t Look for More Debt Stimulus Trying to Re-Inflate the Real Estate Bubble

    Article in part:

    “…It’s a sobering reminder of the fundamental imbalance of the federal government’s budget that comes just days before Obama’s Feb. 1 budget submission. The White House says Obama will propose a three-year freeze on domestic agency budgets, though the savings would barely make a dent. It hasn’t said whether Obama will proposes tax hikes or cuts to spiraling benefit programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security….”

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100126/ap_on_bi_ge/us_obama_budget

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  3. 3

    RE: softwarengineer @ 2 – IMHO, just an effort to reduce voter anger. More symbolic than anything.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  4. 4

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 3

    I Hope You’re Wrong

    But after the McCain/Feingold case failing in the Supreme Court limiting corporate political control and then McCain immediately pushing for amnesty with Western Growers….you’re right.

    Are the Dem/Reps for us or against us? LOL

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  5. 5
    singliac says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 1

    Since that number represents the median pending, doesn’t it include some low short sale prices that won’t actually come to fruition? Do you think we’ll see actual sale prices down that much?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  6. 6

    RE: singliac @ 5 – Short sales are why I quit paying attention to it. The other explanation for it might be a volume drop–that the short sales are a larger percentage of median pendings. I hadn’t looked at volume recently either, but looking now that could very well be the explanation. We might not beat January 2008, so that would be a significant drop in volume from November to January.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  7. 7
    Dave0 says:

    Still looks to me like March 2010 will be the bottom of prices in Seattle, same as when last month’s CS stats came out.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  8. 8
    WestSeattleDave says:

    RE: Dave0 @ 7 – DaveO — “Still looks to me like March 2010 will be the bottom of prices in Seattle…”

    Given that the Fed’s MBS purchases will cease at the end of March, and the $8K credit expires at the end of April, I expect your “bottom” to be the jumping off point for another down leg of the graph. Yes, pricing does seem to be leveling off, but that seems to be the best that can be expected with all of the government support in the housing market. Lacking that support, I don’t see any other way forward except down.

    That is, unless the government continues their support with more and better programs to shovel money at distressed assets.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  9. 9
    PhinneyDawg says:

    Was Seattle relatively more overpriced than Portland before the bubble popped? It seemed like the two cities were joined at the hip when it came to price declines but now Portland isn’t falling as much as Seattle.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  10. 10
    Dave0 says:

    I am also expecting a big jump down (month to month) when the Dec. numbers come out, somewhere around 3-4% down month to month. I think November is going to be the end of this flat pricing we are seeing.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  11. 11
    johnnybigspenda says:

    thoughts:
    -if the prices are levelling off from the government stimulus, isn’t that what they were trying to do?
    -if the gov has been able to contain home prices (to some degree), how confident are you that they will be able to contain the next step in the recovery process (contain inflation?)?
    -with all the crazy possibilities over the past 2 years, this is not the worst outcome we could have seen… so far so good? maybe this isn’t the end?

    -I agree with most that this price level is a plateau … i am not in total agreement in the direction that prices go from here. inflation could take prices higher or a continuation of the trend will take prices lower.

    -for prices to go higher, is it true that affordability needs to rise (ie higher wages?)… good luck on that one, especially with the headwind of higher mortgage rates.

    -seems more likely that the economy will continue to struggle for several more years (with some relief rallies interspersed)… my final answer (for now) prices continue to trend downwards.

    -even flat home prices do not attract me to buying since I need to overcome the cost of interest and maintenance

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  12. 12

    RE: johnnybigspenda @ 11

    And Cash is King Too

    Various of us bloggers have clearly documenetd a clear evidence trail of much lower offers being accepted by sellers [i.e., banks] when its backed with lots of cash to buy in and not a riskier higher offer 1st time mortgage to possibly pay back [with prices likely going lower].

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  13. 13
    WestSeattleDave says:

    The Tim — Nice post on the Seattle Times website comments section. Keep up the good work trying to keep the MSM honest. It was also nice to see the link to SeattleBubble — do they know it’s there, or are you just being subversive?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  14. 14
    The Tim says:

    RE: WestSeattleDave @ 13 – They allow code to make links, so I put a link. Doesn’t seem subversive to me, just trying to be helpful for anyone who is looking for something more than a couple of sentences tacked onto an AP release.

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  15. 15
    Ross Jordan says:

    By softwarengineer @ 2:

    And Don’t Look for More Debt Stimulus Trying to Re-Inflate the Real Estate Bubble

    Article in part:

    “…It’s a sobering reminder of the fundamental imbalance of the federal government’s budget that comes just days before Obama’s Feb. 1 budget submission. The White House says Obama will propose a three-year freeze on domestic agency budgets, though the savings would barely make a dent. It hasn’t said whether Obama will proposes tax hikes or cuts to spiraling benefit programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security….”

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100126/ap_on_bi_ge/us_obama_budget

    Note “domestic agency budget freeze” freezes about 1/6th of the federal government budget, and note that its a cumulative freeze, meaning some departments can go up while others go down so long as the cumulative spending does not rise.

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  16. 16

    By WestSeattleDave @ 13:

    The Tim — Nice post on the Seattle Times website comments section. Keep up the good work trying to keep the MSM honest. It was also nice to see the link to SeattleBubble — do they know it’s there, or are you just being subversive?

    Later in the day they have a new story of NWMLS year end numbers which have been available since approximately the first week in January, but they’re treating it as new news.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2010896889_homes27.html

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  17. 17
    The Tim says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 16 – The NWMLS must have just released some consolidated yearly report, because the SeattlePI.com just posted something similar.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  18. 18
    patient says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 1 – Two useless measures combined ( pendings and median ) equals double uselessness.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  19. 19
    Russ says:

    I just received this e-mail from a local RE Agent and thoght you guys might find it interesting:

    Hi Russ,

    How is your home search going? Are you finding good deals when you search online?

    The good deals won’t be around forever. The MLS recently reported that Pending Sales are at an all time high, matching the market peak of 2006. This buying frenzy is being fueled by people who apparently believe we’re reached the bottom of the market. Don’t get me wrong, prices are still low and there is a lot of unsold inventory being offered by motivated sellers. What’s happening, though, is that this inventory is being sold off rapidly. Once we reach a balance between the amount of buyers and sellers, prices will start to rise. I’m an Old Guy, and have seen several cycles. A dramatic increase in Pending Sales usually signals the bottom of the market.

    With the $8,000 First Time Homebuyer incentive expiring in April, this may be the perfect time to begin at least looking at homes. Let me know if you want to see anything in person. It costs nothing to look

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  20. 20

    RE: The Tim @ 17 – In my comment at the Times I suggested maybe a press report.

    If the NWMLS wanted to compete with Case Shiller, they shouldn’t have released this “new” information for another 30 days. ;-)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  21. 21
    patient says:

    RE: Russ @ 19 – Interresting, no. Nausiating, yes.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  22. 22
    DavidB says:

    Tim @14

    I didn’t see your comment on the Seattle Times site when I just looked. Maybe it was deleted.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  23. 23
    pfft says:

    A housing recovery is definitely near.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  24. 24
    Fran Tarkenton says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 20 – I’m a fan of using C-S, but credit where credit is due: that’s a good zinger.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  25. 25
    pfft says:

    By WestSeattleDave @ 8:

    RE: Dave0 @ 7 – DaveO — “Still looks to me like March 2010 will be the bottom of prices in Seattle…”

    Given that the Fed’s MBS purchases will cease at the end of March, and the $8K credit expires at the end of April, I expect your “bottom” to be the jumping off point for another down leg of the graph. Yes, pricing does seem to be leveling off, but that seems to be the best that can be expected with all of the government support in the housing market. Lacking that support, I don’t see any other way forward except down.

    That is, unless the government continues their support with more and better programs to shovel money at distressed assets.

    why exactly does the market not know about all this? we are much closer to the bottom than the top.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  26. 26
    The Tim says:

    RE: DavidB @ 22 – They updated the story with corrected information and deleted a bunch of the comments including mine. The original story was a 1-paragraph blurb in which they took the AP story (which quoted seasonally-adjusted data) and added some remarks about the Seattle data, but used the non-seasonally-adjusted data.

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  27. 27
    WestSeattleDave says:

    RE: pfft @ 25 – Pfft — “…we are much closer to the bottom than the top.”

    I agree!

    According to today’s C-S data, we are 22% down from the top. So by the time we decline another 20%, we will indeed be closer to the bottom than to the top.

    I have no idea whether the “market” knows these things or not. The $8K credit was widely known, but I doubt many people are aware that the Fed, at great expense, has artifically pushed rates down over the past year, or what the removal of that support means for mortgage rates or home prices. I’m sure the realtors understand it, but I doubt they are “educating” their clients.

    Do I think the market will fall another 20%? I have no idea, but do think it is within the realm of possibility. Do I think it will decline through this year due to the above issues, and others like rising unemployment and rising foreclosures? You bet!

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  28. 28
    Marc says:

    RE: The Tim @ 17

    Exactly. The NWMLS sends a copy of their monthly and annual reports to brokers an hour before it’s released to the media and public. So the email I received today described the press release as an “annual news release discussing 2009 NWMLS statistical data.”

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  29. 29
    AMS says:

    RE: pfft @ 23 – Yup, getting closer every day… How near is near, anyway?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  30. 30
    AMS says:

    RE: pfft @ 25 – Seattle is at a 4-year minimum. I too wouldn’t call that the top.

    As far as time goes, I am certain a bottom will come before a new top, so yes, we are, in time, closer to the bottom than the top.

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  31. 31
    Scotsman says:

    RE: The Tim @ 26

    Deleted!? You’ve got to stop putting facts in your posts- it upsets the advertisers. Fluffy, preferably positive comments only please.

    I was tickled to see Kary trying to sell his “predictions have no value” meme over there too.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  32. 32
    pfft says:

    By AMS @ 29:

    RE: pfft @ 23 – Yup, getting closer every day… How near is near, anyway?

    nationally we are pretty close, don’t know about Seattle. we are clearly moving in the right direction.

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  33. 33
    AMS says:

    RE: pfft @ 32 – The new peak is in the future, and time only moves forward.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  34. 34
    whatsmyname says:

    Tim, you used to also chart the raw Seattle Seattle CSI index number over time. I think it is more succinct, though less dramatic than the YOY changes. That would be nice to see. Kudos on the interactive chart, though.

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  35. 35
    ARDELL says:

    RE: singliac @ 5

    singliac,

    To answer your question regarding pendings vs solds:

    If you separate “Pending Back Up Requested” where a lot of the short sales will be, there are 686 with a median asking price (not sold price) of $299,950 median sf 2,000.

    There are only a dozen “Pending Feasibility” with a median price of $444,975 and median sf of 2,725. Some appear to be inappropriately designated as to pending status. Generally to be used for “is it feasible to” something. Subdivide the lot, build what I want, etc.. But a couple of short sales, bankruptcy and bank owned’s shoved in there.

    There are 850 “Pending Inspection” with a median asking price of $339,839 median sf of 1,885. Some short sales go into and get stuck in “pending inspection” if the buyer is not going to do the inspection until they get lienholder approval.

    “Pending” status (there are 4 status’ and this is last of the Pending Status fields) holds 1,421 transactions with a median of $354,900 and 2.082 sf

    Cosed 2010 YTD is 546 properties with a median asking price of $389,975 median closed price $375,000 – sf 2,101 sf, which looks a lot like 6 mo numbers of 8,762 properties with a median asking price of $389,000 – median closed price of $379,000 for 2,000 sf

    The low of 2009 to “beat” is March at $362,700 for a new bottom. I expect that might happen in the 4th quarter of 2010. Could happen earlier but then a 2 or 3 mo average might balance it out. 4th quarter 2010 is the time to watch for deeper sliding, IMO.

    Tim may have to help me with this required disclosure which must be in bold lettering: Statistics in this comment are not compiled, posted or verified by The Northwest Multiple Listing Service

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  36. 36
    AMS says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 34 – “There are only a dozen “Pending Feasibility” with a median price of $444,975 and median sf of 2,725.”

    With so few, I am not so sure how meaningful median price and median sf are.

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  37. 37
    Teck Kwan says:

    The Fed has been artificially holding down interest rates to save the banks (God forbid that the rich has to lose money). At some point this has to stop. When that happens, I totally expect the house prices to falloff a cliff in order to offset the higher rates.
    All the money that the Fed has printed are not going into the economy, they are used by the banks to speculate in the stocks and commodity markets. Good luck to those people that believe we will see inflation in the near future.

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  38. 38
    shawn says:

    RE: pfft @ 23 – Depends on how you quantify near.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  39. 39
    Teck Kwan says:

    Interesting read here … An Insider’s View of the Real Estate Train Wreck.

    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/01/an-insiders-view-of-the-real-estate-train-wreck/

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  40. 40
    The Tim says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 34 – That’s in tomorrow’s post of the Seattle tiers. Written and scheduled for a 6:00 AM posting. Tell your friends.

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  41. 41
    Jennifer says:

    Interested in this group’s take on the Amherst report – not good news. Vox gives a good summary.

    ‘…this optimism is premature.’ The ‘housing overhang’ is impediment to recovery.
    A SECOND U.S. REAL ESTATE “BUBBLE” A POSSIBILITY IN 2010 SAYS AMHERST SECURITIES GROUP LP – Vox
    http://tommytoy.vox.com/library/post/a-second-us-real-estate-bubble-a-possibility-in-2010-says-amherst-securities-group-lp.html

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  42. 42
    BillE says:

    By Russ @ 19:

    I just received this e-mail from a local RE Agent and thoght you guys might find it interesting:

    The good deals won’t be around forever. The MLS recently reported that Pending Sales are at an all time high, matching the market peak of 2006. This buying frenzy is being fueled by people who apparently believe we’re reached the bottom of the market.

    Oh no! We’ve got a frenzy on our hands people. Buy now or be priced out forever!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  43. 43
    corncob says:

    RE: Russ @ 19 – The market is so strong, in fact, that he is cold calling you with a pressure sales tactic. He must have people lined up out the door buying houses.

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  44. 44
    ARDELL says:

    RE: AMS @ 36

    Not much…just wanted to report on them all without omission. More meaningful to me is separating portions of King County. As a whole I don’t find them to be particularly meaningful for me or my clients. Too small an area doesn’t work well either. I usually break it into North and South of Downtown, straight across King County including Eastside and all northern King County cities. I sometimes do it by school district, which I find to be quite interesting.

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  45. 45
    ARDELL says:

    RE: AMS @ 36

    The closed sales always seem so much higher than the asking prices on the pendings. I tried looking at just those that went pending since early January, and the result would be a very, very low median closed price for February, if only the recent pendings closed, or even most of the recent pendings closed in February.

    Another thing I am noticing is that more and more sales are closing outside of the mls system, especially in the high end, skewing the data significantly.

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  46. 46
    Alan says:

    Where is the roll back graph?

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