Case-Shiller Tiers: Price Growth Slows Across the Board

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: < $279,274 (up 0.8%)
  • Mid Tier: $279,274 – $451,070
  • Hi Tier: > $451,070 (up 0.9%)

First up is the straight graph of the index from January 2000 through June 2014.

Case-Shiller Tiered Index - Seattle

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

Case-Shiller Tiered Index - Seattle

All three tiers are still in the midst of a fairly typical seasonal increase, but the rate of the growth is slowing across the board. Compared to May’s month-over-month gains, all three tiers grew less in June. Between May and June, the low tier increased 1.4%, the middle tier rose 1.0%, and the high tier gained 1.0%.

Here’s a chart of the year-over-year change in the index from January 2003 through June 2014.

Case-Shiller HPI - YOY Change in Seattle Tiers

Year-over-year price growth also continued to shrink in all three tiers. Here’s where the tiers sit YOY as of June – Low: +12.4%, Med: +7.7%, Hi: +8.6%.

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 21.9% off peak for the low tier, 14.2% off peak for the middle tier, and 7.9% off peak for the high tier.

(Home Price Indices, Standard & Poor’s, 08.26.2014)

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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
    BacktoBasic says:

    Slow pace of housing appreciation is good and healthy for the economy. The market already send us signal that double digital appreciation is unstanable. This is a long cycle better than a short cycle. Let people’s employment and income catch up a bit for further pricing appreciation is good. It will be bad for institution investor for quick profit. A 4~5% per year appreciation is definitely good for home owners and buyers.

  2. 2
    Erik says:

    I have finally graduated to mid tier. Gladly leaving you low tier, low lives to rastle for low tier housing. All of us mid tier people should have a party and serve champagne and eat lobster. I promise to save my leftovers for low tier owners. They need all the help they can get. We will wipe with twenty dollar bills because we are mid tier.

    This morning I went to the gas station and someone from the low tier was begging for change. I said no. Tomorrow I can feed that little vulture my mid tier party scraps if we party tonight. Send me your home values and I will send you an invitation to our mid tier party. Don’t worry, I won’t let anybody that is low tier in. High tier is always welcome as a guest of honor to teach us how to become high tier.

  3. 3
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Erik @ 2 – Petite bourgeoisie!

  4. 4
    Erik says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 3
    Yes, they are the dog $hit on my shoe now that I have graduated to a higher socio economic status. You own a house in samammish.

    You must be high tier, so you could be a guest speaker at the party at my alki condo. We will serve you the finest cuts of meat kind sir. I will have a low tier peasent shine your shoes first.

  5. 5
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Erik @ 4 – I’d love to be at your party, incognito, of course. Like you, I came from a lower middle class background. My father, a very good man, did not even attend high school, as he had to support a large group of younger siblings. So enjoy the rise in wealth. That is what the USA is supposed to be about.

  6. 6
    Erik says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 5
    The cream rises to the top. Not that I am on top or anything. I mostly like the saying. Good for you though. A house in samammish is an accomplishment. Ardell made me a little nervous with her guessing that the market will go down in 2015 or 2016. She knows a lot about real estate. I bought a condo at 3717 beach drive sw in seattle to remodel and sell. I hope Ardell is wrong or I may be headed back to being a low tier loser. :-(

  7. 7
    Mike says:

    RE: Erik @ 6 – most agents, including yours, missed calling the last bubble so I wouldn’t put a whole lot of stock in salespersons ability to predict market direction much past the typical 90 day sales window. There’s no inherent connection between selling homes and knowing what price a home will sell for at some point years down the line.

    For years I worked in a role either on a sales team or closely with the sales team, and there was little to no connection between being good at selling and actually understanding how the product worked or how it was used. This wasn’t necessarily apparent to the customers (or even the salesperson!). Selling has more to do with developing a perception, which may or may not have anything to do with reality.

  8. 8

    By Erik @ 6:

    Ardell made me a little nervous with her guessing that the market will go down in 2015 or 2016.

    You can relax if that’s all that makes you worry. I would agree with Mike about the ability of any agent to predict, but Ardell doesn’t have a particularly good record.

  9. 9
    Azucar says:

    RE: Erik @ 6

    Yes, that does sound like it would be worse than being a mid tier one.

  10. 10
    boater says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 8:

    By Erik @ 6:

    Ardell made me a little nervous with her guessing that the market will go down in 2015 or 2016.

    You can relax if that’s all that makes you worry. I would agree with Mike about the ability of any agent to predict, but Ardell doesn’t have a particularly good record.

    Ah what a great blast from the past. I pity the poor fellow who wanted to wait until 2012 to buy waterfront. 2010 was a much better year to buy that type of real estate.

  11. 11
    Erik says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 8
    Hahaha. Busted. Agents seem to have a difficult time calling the bottom and top of the market. Good post. I feel a little relieved.

    Sugar, you seem scorned. At first I assumed you were a man. I now think you are probably a woman based on your emotionally charged comments. I should have used kid gloves with you.

  12. 12
    Erik says:

    RE: boater @ 10
    The bottom of the market for the waterfront property on Alki beach was 2012 by spot checking what comps sold for on that area. This is my 5th and final comment. Please tell me which area had the bottom in 2010 and not 2012. I have not seen that by just looking up real estate. Seems like 2012 was about $60k cheaper than 2010 for waterfront comps I have looked at.

    Mike, good insight.

  13. 13
    Azucar says:

    RE: Erik @ 11

    Well, you know what they say about assuming and what it makes out of u and me. In this case it just made one out of u. Or maybe you didn’t need any help to look like one.

  14. 14
    Lo Ball Jones says:

    Over 25% of Seattle listings have price drops, according to RedFin:

    This month, Redfin looked at the percentage of homes for which sellers dropped the listing price. The percentage of price drops in July of this year was higher than the two previous years and has bolstered a closer alignment between seller and buyer expectations on price.

    “Sellers are finally catching on that it’s not a seller’s market anymore,” said Virginia Redfin agent Jeremy Cunningham.

    As a result, sellers are adjusting prices more aggressively than at the end of previous summer selling seasons. Redfin agents are also seeing more negotiation between buyers and sellers at the beginning of the process and post inspection.

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