Case-Shiller Tiers: All Three Tiers Gained in September

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: < $257,807 (up 0.4%)
  • Mid Tier: $257,807 – $412,889
  • Hi Tier: > $412,889 (up 0.4%)

First up is the straight graph of the index from January 2000 through September 2012.

Case-Shiller Tiered Index - Seattle

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

Case-Shiller Tiered Index - Seattle

Although it looked like the typical seasonal dip was beginning in the high and middle tiers last month, all three tiers turned back up in September. Between August and September, the low tier rose 0.9%, the middle tier was up 0.9%, and the high tier gained 0.2%.

Here’s a chart of the year-over-year change in the index from January 2003 through September 2012.

Case-Shiller HPI - YOY Change in Seattle Tiers

All three tiers are now firmly back in the black, showing year-over-year gains. Here’s where the tiers sit YOY as of September – Low: +1.8%, Med: +5.0%, Hi: +5.5%.

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

Case-Shiller: Decline from Peak - Seattle Tiers

Current standing is 38.4% off peak for the low tier, 29.0% off peak for the middle tier, and 22.3% off peak for the high tier.

(Home Price Indices, Standard & Poor’s, 11.27.2012)

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.


  1. 1
    Lo Ball Jones says:

    Has anyone used or come across the site

    They have houses up for bid, with reserve pricing, similar to e-Bay.

    For example, I found this house in Seattle, valued at $218,000 but with an opening reserve bid of $20,000 (reserve means the minimum the seller is guaranteeing a sale at…but you can bid lower).


    They have some really spectacular bargains around the rest of Washington State, like this house in Aberdeen for 10G’s:

  2. 2
    ray pepper says:

    RE: Lo Ball Jones @ 1 – banks protect the Bid..Dont waste your time like I did in Nevada with them..

  3. 3
    Lo Ball Jones says:

    RE: ray pepper @ 2

    So if I bid the reserve, they’d send in a climber to escalate?

  4. 4

    Legit? Maybe. But ..
    1. Like ebay, we don’t know what the reserve is.
    2. These are “bank approved” short sales, but we don’t know at what price they were approved at. It probably means that these houses were listed as short sales non auction, and a buyer submitted an offer that was approved by the bank, but then the offfer fell apart for whatever reason. A lot of times when a bank has approved a short sale, it’s not going to be for 90% off the market price. You might get a discount, but not an insanely large one. I’m assuming that the price the lender approved might be the reserve price, so I think the chances of them accepting an offer that’s less than the amount the bank has approved is close to zero.

  5. 5
    Lo Ball Jones says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 4

    Did you check the listing…there is a reserve for each house.

  6. 6

    By Lo Ball Jones @ 5:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 4

    Did you check the listing…there is a reserve for each house.

    Yes, there is a reserve for each house. Is there anywhere in the listing that tells you the amount of the reserve? I’m tired and sometimes I miss stuff, but I didn’t see it. I see what the current bid is, but not the reserve amount.
    If they say the “previous value” of a house was 218,000, and the current bid is 20,000, and it’s a short sale that’s been approved, what do you think that either the reserve is, or the amount the bank has “approved”? Maybe the reserve is the amount the bank has previously approved, that would make sense. It’s not going to be 20,000. More like 120,000, I’d guess.

  7. 7
    ChrisM says:

    RE: Lo Ball Jones @ 5 – Cool, given that:

    says the auction is 11/28/2012 (otherwise known as today) it should be interesting to see what the final sales price is. I’m sure it is just a delay in the feed that explains why we don’t already know what the sales price is.

    Unless, of course, they’re (well, I can’t say “fraudulent” can I?) mistaken… The Zillow post (which, given my previous experience with Zillow means their statement means absolutely nothing) states that this is a short sale. So, what is the friggin point????

  8. 8
    Lo Ball Jones says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 6

    Ah, ok, you’re quite right.

    I was reading it as

    $30,000 Reserve. Not met.

    Meaning no one had bid $30,000 yet.

    But what it is saying is

    Current bid $30,000
    Reserve not met

    Meaning what you said, that it’s disguised but higher.

    Still, the “owner” is only getting a $30,000 bid and could choose to take it if it falls through.

    No sure whatever chicanery goes on afterward….or as some are suggesting, this is a just pro-forma to comply with some regulation.

  9. 9
    David Losh says:

    RE: Lo Ball Jones @ 1

    No, but I have worked auctions for local companies, and they have the numbers that can be accepted. The idea is that some one will bid above the approved number.

    If the property doesn’t sell it’s removed. There is nothing in the contract that says the seller, the bank, has to take less than what they want.

    That property in Aberdeen tops out at $90K. It looks like the bank will take $46100. That would be your bid, maybe 10% lower.

    It’s just another marketing tool.

    As a disclaimer, you never know what a bank will do with a property, especially for cash. There is no harm in submitting a bid.

  10. 10
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: David Losh @ 9

    Its Different On eBay

    If a seller doesn’t accept a bid [any bid, even a low ball one] and their product description stipulated they would take the highest bid above or at the reserve minimum bid, this seller won’t last long on eBay. The buyers can rate the seller as a pathetic liar and eBay’s compliance police will throw that seller out of the auction too.

    EBay is competing poorly with Amazon and the buyer is king there.

    I’ve bought $120 real teak wood bows for my violin on reserve low bid for like $10 [early on a Saturday morning when no one was bidding against me]….the seller [probably a bankrupt music store] mailed the bows to me for $20 each [includes the $10 shipping]. Sure the seller probably lost money, but I was the highest bid.

  11. 11

    Not familiar with the auction company, but I’d suggest looking at past properties they’ve put up for auction (using Google’s cache), and/or starting to track them.

    The ones I’ve seen in the past have been really crappy houses that can’t sell as a REO listing.

  12. 12
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 11

    Yes Kary

    But in Low Ball’s case, ya could bulldoze the house down and still make a killing on the land.

  13. 13
    ray pepper says:

    just to clarify these are FUN SHOWS to go to…We have “WON” 3 bids on homes. Left our 2500 cashier checks (which you are required to do) only to get our funds back because the “SELLER REJECTED THE OFFER”. This is how it goes for many of the properties…At these events I estimate they actually sell 10-20% of the properties from just observing some prices get escalated up to the point where the seller would accept.

    Last one we went to was in Bellevue and I think they had good snacks if I remember correctly..Your FAR BETTER OFF at the Trustee Sales if you really wanna buy.

  14. 14
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: ray pepper @ 13

    Now You’re Talking County Court Auctions, Not EBay

    And yes, you’re right….I’ve even heard the bank may plant phony bidders there to escalate prices.

    My real estate training experience [mentored me by a real estate agent doing it] in foreclosed gems in the 90s was use the Investor’s Edge, an obsolete Kirkland publication [quite thick with listings BTW] listing ’em before they are evicted and auctioned off….you deal directly with the current owner, not the auctions or the banks.

    Ya needed a 100% bag of cash to play.

    Does this opportunity even exist anymore? Probably not IMO, perhaps that’s why the Bubble got so bad?

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.