Case-Shiller Tiers: Low Tier Gains, Middle Tier Loses

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: < $252,611 (down 0.6%)
  • Mid Tier: $252,611 – $403,620
  • Hi Tier: > $403,620 (down 0.6%)

First up is the straight graph of the index from January 2000 through February 2013.

Case-Shiller Tiered Index - Seattle

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

Case-Shiller Tiered Index - Seattle

The middle tier took a bit of a hit in February, the high tier was basically flat, and the low tier increased. Between January and February, the low tier rose 0.5%, the middle tier was down 0.7%, and the high tier lost 0.1%.

Here’s a chart of the year-over-year change in the index from January 2003 through February 2013.

Case-Shiller HPI - YOY Change in Seattle Tiers

The biggest gainer in year-over-year growth was the high tier this month, which had a 1.5-point boost. Here’s where the tiers sit YOY as of February – Low: +10.0%, Med: +10.5%, Hi: +9.0%.

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 37.9% off peak for the low tier, 29.1% off peak for the middle tier, and 22.5% off peak for the high tier.

(Home Price Indices, Standard & Poor’s, 04.30.2013)

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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
    Erik says:

    It looks like is low tier folks stand to make the biggest gains with this current bubble since we are still lagging the rich people.

  2. 2

    Seattle Needs More Double Income Households

    And God forbid all the Baby Boomers sell off their McMansions in Seattle groves, per Shiller:

    aging baby boomers who no longer enjoy working on the upkeep of their homes and the increase in single-person households.

    When asked where this all leaves the housing market 10 years from now, Shiller says home prices will be “about where they are now” after adjusting for inflation….”

    What Bull Price predictors want and what demographic trends are causing for our future has locked horns. Adjusting for our “dinky” phony inflation measure, as it excludes food and gas….LOL…1%/yr?

  3. 3

    RE: softwarengineer @ 2

    And Don’t Bet on More Double Incomes Buying Up Seattle Real Estate

    Even dinky millenium generation pay:

  4. 4
    Kim says:

    What is the Y axis on the first two graphs?

  5. 5
    The Tim says:

    RE: Kim @ 4 – It’s the index level. The Case-Shiller data gives home price levels indexed to January 2000 = 100. So an index level of 140 means that home prices are 40% higher than they were in January 2000.

  6. 6
    ray pepper says:

    I say we start a petition to get Kary back. Nobody left to bash anymore. Something died here…No more Corndogs? No more Ardell Kary feuds? No more battles over who lives the closest to a Pedophile? Millionnaire Mike? Tytler?…….Even the comedic value of Losh is gone? Ira what gives?

  7. 7
    Erik says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 2
    I agree that america is downsizing the size of their homes in general. Maybe total overall amount paid for homes will decrease, but the price of smaller homes may increase. Supply and demand.

  8. 8
    Erik says:

    RE: ray pepper @ 6
    Yeah, they were a lot of fun, but we are moving to a new more controlled commentary. Since the 5 comment limit, they realized they had to give more calculated comments and more importantly couldn’t lash back when someone popped off at them. Corndogs would disrespect them and they had already used their 5 comments. Corndogs waited until they used their comments so he could beat on them with no rebuttle. I think they didn’t like that too much. It turned into a game of predator/prey waiting for the last one to shoot their last bullet and then attack the other.

  9. 9
    The Tim says:

    RE: Erik @ 8 – So you’re saying the 5-comment limit had the desired effect, then.

  10. 10
    mike says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 3 – Washington may have an advantage in that area now that domestic partnerships are being dissolved. My hunch is that many of the couples that previously relied on domestic partner benefits, specifically healthcare, are going to end up establishing households sooner.

    Pure speculation on my part, but one of the odd outcomes of the gay marriage law is that people who might have casually shared a household and benefits now have a harder time doing so without combining their finances.

  11. 11
    Dirty Renter in Banjo Country says:

    RE: ray pepper @ 6

    Kary Come Back…..

  12. 12
    Erik says:

    RE: The Tim @ 9
    Yes. I did learn some good things from their ramblings though after sifting through the arguing. It’s just different here after the 5 comment limit. Maybe better, but i’m not sure yet.

  13. 13

    RE: mike @ 10

    It May Help Downtown Sales Too

    A condo works well with no kids.

  14. 14
    Ron says:

    RE: ray pepper @ 6

    I miss the Fox news perspective….

  15. 15

    By ray pepper @ 6:

    I say we start a petition to get Kary back. Nobody left to bash anymore. Something died here…No more Corndogs? No more Ardell Kary feuds? No more battles over who lives the closest to a Pedophile? Millionnaire Mike? Tytler?…….Even the comedic value of Losh is gone? Ira what gives?

    I’m happy to stage a big argument here with you Ray, just for dramatic effect, like professional wrestling. If it’ll help the ratings:)

  16. 16
    Erik says:

    RE: ray pepper @ 6
    I was just thinking about a comment that Corndogs made to Losh that I have been laughing about ever since. I am laughing here at work as I type. I won’t even repeat it because it was a low blow. Some of the things that were said on here were pretty harsh, but they have given me a lot of smiles and laughs, which has ultimately increased my happiness. :)

    I liked the fighting. It feels like the kids are all grown up and have left and now the fun is gone.

  17. 17
    David Losh says:

    RE: The Tim @ 9RE: ray pepper @ 6

    Yes, the five comment rule was a good one.

    Ray, there is no comedy in consumers taking on hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt to get no returns other than cheaper rent, and I question the rent verses buy argument.

    That’s it, let the cheer leading continue.

  18. 18
    whatsmyname says:

    By Erik @ 16:

    I liked the fighting. It feels like the kids are all grown up and have left and now the fun is gone.

    HA! Eric, you fool. We haven’t grown up or left. We were only waiting for you to use your five posts. Now we can openly question your intelligence, and whether it was you circling Tim’s neighborhood in search of sek soffenders. We can hint darkly about what you did with that pink pony. And there is nothing you can say.

    P.S. Your mom wears realtor boots.

  19. 19
    corndogs says:

    I see that after many months of participation on that TeenErik is still a blind and featherless little hatchling yapping at the sky hoping a juicy worm somehow falls in his mouth…. when he finally opens his tiny crust caked eyes he’ll latch on to the first thing he sees and call it Mama… of course Corndog doesn’t want to witness that pathetic moment to occur. There are two distinct pools of tribal knowledge that a young larvae can hope to feed on. One is on how to game the system by abusing SSI and filing false tax returns with illegal aliens etc.. This is the most you can hope to learn from most people who have this copious amount of time to fiddle around on the internet (ie Losh). The other pool of knowledge is in regards to how to be become a productive member of a capitalist society and gain wealth through investments. Hopefully, when wee Eriks eyes pop open, there will be that benevolent benefactor of knowledge standing before him…. But most likely it will be Losh dressed up like Edith Bunker and holding a crack pipe.

  20. 20
    David Losh says:

    I’d like to cut, and paste your charts onto other blogs that I read, and my own blogs, because you have the freshest data, presented really concisely.

    Would that be OK, and how can I do that?

  21. 21
    David Losh says:

    RE: corndogs @ 19

    Damn, and I just wasted a comment, asking for charts.

    Go blow smoke some place else man. You have no game.

    What I do is make money. It’s all about the cash money, man, you should know that as a big time player.

    Yeah, you don’t like that because you got some jive balshat going on, or do you have a job, I don’t care, because in all this time you have had nothing to say.

    Flame on female dog.

    Oh yeah, and before you every frigging make false accusations about me again, think harder about it.

  22. 22
    Ray pepper says:

    RE: corndogs @ 19 – whew. Ok. All is good again!!! Hysterical !!!!!

  23. 23
    corndogs says:

    RE: David Losh @ 21 – well, MAN, I’m just guessing at your daily activities, but based on your response, sounds like I hit a home run…. I also wanted to make a note on your comment on February sales being affected by families with kids trying to get situated before the end of the school year. What school year are you talking about? Are you talking about the Southern hemisphere? Last time I checked people with kids try to move when their kids are NOT in school… that is not anywhere near February.. as usual, your a$$ backwards…. this brings up an interesting question though…. when you’re in the Southern hemisphere does the sh!t in your head whirl around counter-clockwise.

  24. 24
  25. 25
    johnnybigspenda says:

    Rather than limit the number of posts, could you just make the voting buttons more powerful? IE. something like if the differential between the thumbs up and thumbs down ever gets to more than 5, the post disappears… you could even make it so users could filter posts by ignoring certain users or by any number of thumbs down. After a certain number of posts that are removed due to thumbs down, the user should get locked out until an admin/ automated warning email gets read and acknowledged by such user.

    RE: The Tim @ 9

  26. 26
    David Losh says:

    RE: corndogs @ 23

    You are so clueless it’s not worth my time, but Ray here was looking for a little action, so what the heck.

    You got nothing to say, man, so it’s nothing to me.

    You have to pick your school in February, March, you moron, as Kary used to say.

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