Case-Shiller: Upward Summer Slog Continued in August

Let’s have a look at the latest data from the Case-Shiller Home Price Index. According to August data that was released this morning, Seattle-area home prices were:

Up 0.5 percent July to August
Up 11.4 percent YOY.
Up 6.5 percent from the July 2007 peak

Over the same period last year prices were up 0.3 percent month-over-month and year-over-year prices were up 7.6 percent.

Surprising no one, Seattle home prices as measured by Case-Shiller hit another new all-time high in August.

Here’s a Tableau Public interactive graph of the year-over-year change for all twenty Case-Shiller-tracked cities. Check and un-check the boxes on the right to modify which cities are showing:

After dropping all the way to #12 in July, Seattle’s rank for month-over-month changes moved back up to #5 in August.

Case-Shiller HPI: Month-to-Month

Hit the jump for the rest of our monthly Case-Shiller charts, including the interactive chart of raw index data for all 20 metro areas.

In August, there was still just one of the twenty Case-Shiller-tracked metro areas that gained more year-over-year than Seattle (the same as February through July):

  • Portland at +11.7%

Clearly the Northwest will never stop being literally the envy of other states.

Seven cities hit new all-time highs again in August: San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Charlotte, Denver, Portland, and Dallas.

Eighteen metro areas gained less than Seattle as of August: Denver, Dallas, Tampa, Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Charlotte, Detroit, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Washington, and New York.

Here’s the interactive chart of the raw HPI for all twenty metro areas through August.

Here’s an update to the peak-decline graph, inspired by a graph created by reader CrystalBall. This chart takes the twelve metro areas whose peak index was greater than 175, and tracks how far they have fallen so far from their peak. The horizontal axis shows the total number of months since each individual city peaked.

Case-Shiller HPI: Decline From Peak

In the 109 months since the price peak in Seattle prices are up 6.5 percent.

Lastly, let’s see how Seattle’s current prices compare to the previous bubble inflation and subsequent burst. Note that this chart does not adjust for inflation.

Case-Shiller: Seattle Home Price Index

Check back tomorrow for our monthly look at Case-Shiller data for Seattle’s price tiers.

(Home Price Indices, Standard & Poor’s, 2016-10-25)

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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

    Haughty Seattle Home Owners Lead the Way?

    1/2 don’t work and have no “employment restrictions” skin in the game…..great lemmings to follow over the coming fiscal deficit cliff…and NO QEs anymore! Cash bag spoiled brats buying in Seattle?

  2. 2
    Blurtman says:

    Folks still be underwater in many markets that bought close to peak.

  3. 3
    Doug says:

    Inventory drops under 3k on October 25?!


  4. 4
    GoHawks says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 1 – softy, you’ve been talking down this market for 2-3 years. Popped another 30-40% on you. When do you think it actually rolls over?

  5. 5
    Jeff Bozos says:

    Inventory has dropped to under 3000 SFH in King County…whoa..(according to the link on this website)
    King County
    SFH: 2,985

  6. 6
    Jeff Bozos says:

    Looking to sell when inventory hits 6500, in the meantime i just rent to millenials

  7. 7
    ess says:

    The increase in the dollar amount for a typical residence this past year was actually greater than the increase in the dollar amount for the same typical residence two or three years ago. Sort of like compound interest principles meets housing. So prices aren’t just going up, they are accelerating.

    Conversely, even if house prices begin to slow down ( as they should and probably will), the increase in actual dollars in a slowing YOY environment rather than percentage increase can remain the same or be greater than a few years ago with a greater YOY gain.

    Or put it another way – give me a 7% increase on a present day million dollar residence investment rather than a10% increase on a quarter million dollar place bought years ago any day.

  8. 8
    Justme says:

    RE: ess @ 7

    Wow, you must be getting really desperate with your argumentation. Basically, you are saying that if you do not get the desired % return on your down payment on the less expense housing, just leverage up and buy something that costs 4X as much. Yeah, that’s going to end great.

    Chasing yield, anyone?

  9. 9
    Doug says:

    How far will inventory fall today!?

  10. 10
    Sid says:

    By Jeff Bozos @ 6:

    Looking to sell when inventory hits 6500, ………..

    Probably should happen in 2019

  11. 11
    Sam Hunter says:

    How about everyone make some predictions so we can hold people accountable? I don’t expect cowards like Kary or SWE to do so, because they have been on the opposite side of the trade every single time.

    YOY in September 2017 will be 14.2% for Seattle.
    YOY in September 2018 will be 16.5% for Seattle.
    YOY in September 2019 will be 21.1% for Seattle.

    Putting my money where my mouth is. Bought in 2015 and looking to buy another this winter.

    See ya losers at the finish line.

  12. 12

    RE: Sam Hunter @ 11 – Ignorant nonsense. Just because you aren’t able to understand what I did and why I did it, that doesn’t mean I was on the wrong side of anything. It just means you don’t have the information, education and intelligence to understand what I did and how it worked out. Only you would think my getting almost 50% of my investment back already in the form of tax free rent, plus having an asset that is now worth more than it was somehow a mistake.

    But hey, I’m not the one claiming to be a great predictor because I bought in 2015. Seriously that is laughable. Since you’re now talking about buying another I’m going to assume you did that based on the real estate cycle, as opposed to a need to buy, and that means you’re a complete joke. Bought in 2015 and claims to be able to predict things! Wow. I can hardly wait for 2019 so that I can get your prediction of the 2016 Presidential election. :-D

  13. 13
    AJT says:

    RE: Sam Hunter @ 11

    Three years worth of predictions is bold. What do you base your predictions on?
    Food for thought on one parameter that could have a significant affect on local prices.
    Sometimes we have to look beyond our little Elysium

  14. 14
    Eastsider says:

    This is so UNREAL.

    11.4 percent YOY when mortgage loan is under 4%. You just made 7-8% of the value of your house in one year! A typical house is about $700k. That is a gain of $50k if you bought a house a year ago.

    How many years has it been since we had such gains? 5 years? That would be a good quarter million dollars if you had taken out a loan 5 years ago!

    Now tell me this will go on for another 5 years.

    You are INSANE. And I am calling that we are near the top of the market.

  15. 15

    RE: GoHawks @ 4
    LOL….Talk Down????

    You are a media robot, I think with a brain.

    Keep following the establishment One World Government advice….your job will be replaced by a foreign green card soon too. See your home on the repossession list, soon at a theater near you….LOL

    Remember I warned you.

  16. 16

    RE: Eastsider @ 14
    Just Like a $20T Debt

    The beer party is over. Time to clean up the establishment MESS.

  17. 17
    Doug says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 14 – How do you reconcile that statement against an inventory number that is now down 3.4% Y-o-Y — making yet another new all-time low.

    This inventory story is really getting crazy.

  18. 18
    ess says:

    Calling the top or the bottom of any real estate market is fraught with danger. About one can be certain is that over time, excluding outliers such as Detroit, real estate tends to increase in value.

    How much short term increase or decrease is anyone’s guess, although factors such as limited land supply, growth management acts, costs of construction, the cost of government regulation, population increases or decreases, employment, inflation, artificial controls on the market (rent control, growth management acts etc) as well as other elements that must be factored in.

    The only certainty of any top or bottom that I call is when I hike in the mountains.

  19. 19

    By AJT @ 13:

    RE: Sam Hunter @ 11

    Three years worth of predictions is bold. What do you base your predictions on?

    Given that he waited to buy as an investment until 2015 it’s probably based on what the last three years looked like. Sam is seemingly one of those people who think these graphs of data show you the future rather than the past.

  20. 20
    Eastsider says:

    By Doug @ 17:

    RE: Eastsider @ 14 – How do you reconcile that statement against an inventory number that is now down 3.4% Y-o-Y — making yet another new all-time low.

    This inventory story is really getting crazy.

    I am sure home prices in Vancouver BC are collapsing in spite of extreme low inventory.

    The meteoric rise in home prices has been largely fueled by the Fed. Home prices have gone up nationwide regardless of inventory.

    If you are a long term homebuyer, you should not be too concerned with current prices. But if you are an ‘investor’, it would be wise to stay away.

    P.s. I just came across a related column by Martin Feldstein –

  21. 21
    Donald says:

    I predict in 2020 Sam will run for president. He has divisiveness down.

  22. 22
    Blake says:

    This is significant! Even the German Finance Minister says that monetary policy has reached it’s limits and there is too much debt. No more QEs… they will be taking the punch bowl away from the party! Even though the world economy is a mess, the big bankers will be raising rates…. damn the consequences!
    Schaeuble says monetary policy has reached its limits
    “There is a growing international consensus that monetary policy has reached the limits of its possibilities, German Finance Wolfgang Schaeuble told a group of government officials in Berlin on Tuesday. Schaeuble also said that he believed that there was an excess of liquidity and excess of indebtedness internationally.”

    Too much “excess” people… they need to clean it up and it will be painful! (not to them though…)

  23. 23
    pfft says:

    If I remember correctly, the tell that the housing market had topped before was a YOY drop in sales. yes? the 2007 mess started with all those mortgage businesses going under and then hedge fund managers in August had to cut their vacations. Everything sort of died down and then in Sept of 2008 Lehman went under and all hell broke loose.

  24. 24

    RE: pfft @ 23 – pfft, I found the pregnancy link regarding Washington’s prior insurance law–post 238 in the prior thread. It got hung up in moderation due to the link.

  25. 25

    By Eastsider @ 20:

    The meteoric rise in home prices has been largely fueled by the Fed. Home prices have gone up nationwide regardless of inventory.

    If you hit the “all” button on one of the main charts above it does appear the cities are mainly working similarly, if not to the same extent. Detroit and Cleveland seem to be the main exceptions.

  26. 26

    RE: Doug @ 9

    At least by one. 16 offers. Bellevue. Starter home price range. The buyers haven’t taken their ball and gone home yet.

  27. 27

    By Jeff Bozos @ 5:

    Inventory has dropped to under 3000 SFH in King County…whoa..(according to the link on this website)
    King County
    SFH: 2,985

    It has been bothering me where Estately gets its low number. If I exclude listings requiring third party approval (e.g. short sale and bankruptcy), and also bank owned, I still don’t get quite to that low of a number, but at least it’s close. I also wondered if they somehow ever factoring out listings done as both condo and SFR, but I don’t think that’s it either. Maybe their search is by certain zip codes?????

  28. 28
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Ardell DellaLoggia @ 26 – What is a hypothetical price range? Price/Sq.ft.?

  29. 29
    Doug says:

    RE: Ardell DellaLoggia @ 26 – Going under 2,900 today and on pace to crush the previous all-time lows in December. Next comes the price dislocation.

  30. 30
    Jeff Bozos says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 27 – The numbers go way back to pre-bubble / bust days so they at least show the trend, not claiming they are 100% accurate but the trend is clear…inventory is shrinking. They might not include pending sales or something like that…its within the margin or error where you can at least acknowledge inventory is dwindling..

  31. 31

    RE: Jeff Bozos @ 30 – That’s not really the issue–I agree inventory is low, and the 7 day trend is lower.

    It’s just something that bothers me because it purports to be updated hourly and is constantly wrong. I’m just wondering what they did in their programming to get it to show the wrong number. Estately is (or at least was last time I checked) a NWMLS broker, so seemingly this is something with the way they programmed rather than not having access to the data (e.g. using Zillow listings).

    Because it’s wrong though you can’t use that number to compare to the numbers Tim reports.

  32. 32

    BTW, since we’re talking about it, might as well have a graph. Since we’re still above 3,000 with the real numbers the question is whether we’ll be above or below last year at the end of the month.

    3,000 reference from NWMLS sources, but not guaranteed.

  33. 33

    RE: Blurtman @ 28

    $300 to $350 per sf $600,000 to $700,000 and a hair over is probably the most active price point as to # of buyers. Higher prices will bid out but with not quite so many competing for the same house, though net result is the same. Hard to pinpoint because quite a few that ended up in the low to mid 7’s started in the 6’s as to asking vs sold prices. Some under $300 ppsf, but mostly due to basement value in the mix.

  34. 34
    Blurtman says:

    That’s nice. If I can cash out at $1.3 million, I may have to consider the move to Hawaii.

  35. 35
    uwp says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 31

    Where is this 3K number?
    Is it on the side bar or something?

    EDIT: NM, I found it. Sidebar, but only on the homepage.

  36. 36

    By uwp @ 35:

    EDIT: NM, I found it. Sidebar, but only on the homepage.

    And only if you have your browser aspect ratio set wide enough!

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