Case-Shiller Tiers: All Three Tiers Dipped in December

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: < $256,154 (down 0.7%)
  • Mid Tier: $256,154 – $408,283
  • Hi Tier: > $408,283 (down 0.9%)

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

Case-Shiller Tiered Index - Seattle

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

Case-Shiller Tiered Index - Seattle

All three tiers dropped slightly in December, following the typical seasonal trend for this time of year. Between November and December, the low tier fell 0.1%, the middle tier was down 0.2%, and the high tier lost 0.5%.

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

Case-Shiller HPI - YOY Change in Seattle Tiers

The middle tier was the first to mark double-digit gains in December. Here’s where the tiers sit YOY as of December – Low: +5.2%, Med: +11.1%, Hi: +8.2%.

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 38.5% off peak for the low tier, 28.4% off peak for the middle tier, and 22.4% off peak for the high tier.

(Home Price Indices, Standard & Poor’s, 02.26.2013)

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

    Tim, I Like Your Blog Limit of 5 On Articles

    It contains the long convoluted “in-fighting” blogs and limits their inputs….great idea!

    And yes, the end of the year slump was 4.4% drop nationally…a month to month trending, but irrespective, such an unusually sizable deterioration, that its impact can’t be mitigated. I think it may be linked to the Sequestration fears last Dec; now hitting us again this month too….

  2. 2
    David Losh says:

    I got my redfin update about how great prices are doing in Charlotte North Carolina, and I was stunned by the price, and price per square foot.

    I understand the wage base there is very high due to medical research money, kind of like what Microsoft does for the Eastside, however $399950 for a median price seems high to me.

    redfin is quoting the Triangle area of Charlotte which contains most of the research facilities, but North Carolina is a big State with several economic issues, kind of the same as Washington, or any State that has a golden economic hub.

    Shiller has been making rounds on the talk shows about the economy to caution people about the exhuberance we are seeing due to low inventory. From what I read he is still saying that the foreclosure market is driving down prices in some areas, like for here it would be Renton, while areas like North Seattle see these multiple offers.

    So I can see how prices could show a decline the same as I can see how prices show double digit rises. In Phoenix they are comparing distressed property sales of last year to this year where short sales, and foreclosures are getting much better prices, so it shows a 20% increase in pricing, but it’s for the same crap properties.

    I don’t know what I would do really if I was a buyer with a family who had waited all of this time to buy something. What I do know is that I wouldn’t get too excited by the sales data, or what Case/Shiller was showing me.

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