Case-Shiller Tiers: High Tier Shows the Only Gains in July

Let’s check out the three price tiers for the Seattle area, as measured by Case-Shiller. Remember, Case-Shiller’s “Seattle” data is based on single-family home repeat sales in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties.

Note that the tiers are determined by sale volume. In other words, 1/3 of all sales fall into each tier. For more details on the tier methodologies, hit the full methodology pdf. Here are the current tier breakpoints:

  • Low Tier: < $264,388 (up 0.4%)
  • Mid Tier: $264,388 – $404,854
  • Hi Tier: > $404,854 (up 0.5%)

First up is the straight graph of the index from January 2000 through July 2010.

Case-Shiller Tiered Index - Seattle

Here’s a zoom-in, showing just the last year:

Case-Shiller Tiered Index - Seattle

Immediately upon the expiration of the tax credit, the low tier fell month-to-month. The high tier was actually the only tier to show a gain in July. The low tier dropped 0.6% MOM, the middle tier fell 0.2%, and the high tier rose 0.4%.

Here’s a chart of the year-over-year change in the index from January 2003 through July 2010.

Case-Shiller HPI - YOY Change in Seattle Tiers

The low tier fell further YOY than it did in June, the middle tier was more or less flat, and the high tier marked another slight improvement, but still sits below zero. Here’s where the tiers sit YOY as of July – Low: -2.9%, Med: -3.3%, Hi: -0.5%.

Lastly, here’s a decline-from-peak graph like the one posted this morning, but looking only at the Seattle tiers.

Case-Shiller: Decline from Peak - Seattle Tiers

After gaining back some of its lost ground over the previous three months, the low tier dropped back down to 27% off peak in July.

(Home Price Indices, Standard & Poor’s, 09.28.2010)

0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

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. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.


  1. 1
    hinten says:

    Related but unrelated.
    Further proof that it was all the fault of consumers and the poor banks were exploited by the likes of us:

    Tim, in addition to the BB you need a ‘submit story button’ on this site.

  2. 2

    Wait Until the Horrifying Shiller Numbers Come Out This Halloween

    Article in part:

    “…Look, I’m all about laying the groundwork for the future, but we need buyers back in the market right this minute, as sales plummet and prices waiver. Analyst Meredith Whitney said on CNBC yesterday, “In October we’re going to see a really ugly Case Shiller number.”

    “Unless you have near perfect credit and a substantial down payment, FHA is still the only game in town for a large number of Americans,” notes Guy Cecala of Inside Mortgage Finance.

    Mortgage-purchase applications are 32 percent lower than they were last year, and they weren’t great last year. While still the cheapest game in town, FHA loans are about to get more expensive, and that’s going to knock the numbers down yet again….”

  3. 3
    Lurker says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 2

    Horrifying is a bit extreme but yes, the next CS data results in October should show a good dip and the next six months probably won’t be very uplifting either. With continued high unemployment and more people potentially being underwater with their mortgages this could have a negative impact on the holiday season which is a significant job and revenue generator.

    It’s not all doom and gloom though, this could be the beginning of a trend for the legalization for marijuana and I’m sure we could all use a good puff if that ever comes about.

    Also, I’d think that rents would start dropping again as prices continue to fall. That would be nice.

  4. 4
    Scotsman says:

    Distressed Homes Sell at 26% Discount in U.S. as Supply Swells

    Homes in the foreclosure process sold at an average 26 percent discount in the second quarter as almost one-fourth of all U.S. transactions involved properties in some stage of mortgage distress, according to RealtyTrac Inc,

  5. 5
    Lurker says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 4

    Washington isn’t singled out in that report, which is good but I have to wonder. We were late to the game and if prices take a significant dip here in the next six months, which I suspect they might, what kind of impact is that going to have here?

    We never had any YOY gains here to buffer against a second dip like other places did.

  6. 6
    Scotsman says:

    This is intersting and will affect prices as supply continues to be freed up. Note when the bottom was- when everyone was buying a house. Now that more folks are doubling up or staying at home longer things have changed:

    “Some rough numbers: If we assume a population of 300 million, the slight increase in household size would suggest about 1.3 million fewer housing units were needed. (300 million divided 2.56) minus (300 million divided by 2.59) equals about 1.3 million. This is more than offset by the growing population over this two year period, but this shows why the excess inventory has remained very high even with a series low number of new housing units being completed.”

Leave a Reply

Use your email address to sign up with Gravatar for a custom avatar.
Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Please read the rules before posting a comment.