Case-Shiller: Seattle Home Prices Strong In October

Happy New Year everyone!

Yes, it’s late (vacation), but I wanted to post these charts anyway. I’ll post again later today with the monthly stats preview for December data.

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

Up 0.2 percent September to October
Up 10.7 percent YOY.
Up 6.6 percent from the July 2007 peak

Over the same period last year prices were up 0.5 percent month-over-month and year-over-year prices were up 8.8 percent.

Seattle home prices as measured by Case-Shiller inched up to another new all-time high in October.

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 to #17 in September, Seattle’s rank for month-over-month changes moved up to #9 of 20 in October.

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.

Despite underperforming in October compared about half the other cities and the same period a year prior, Seattle’s year-over-year price growth was once again the largest in the nation. In October, none of the twenty Case-Shiller-tracked metro areas gained more year-over-year than Seattle. From February through August Portland had been in the #1 slot above Seattle.

Still more proof that the Northwest will never stop being literally the envy of other states.

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

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

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 111 months since the price peak in Seattle prices are up 6.6 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

(Home Price Indices, Standard & Poor’s, 2016-12-27)

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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
    justme says:

    On a related note, Reuters reports today that the general public of China is for once NOT queuing up to buy their yearly quota of USD with RMB (yuan). The article linked below is worth reading.


    “You can’t buy real estate. You can’t purchase anything. Basically you can only park that FX in your deposit account onshore with interest rates that are very low,” he said.

    Yang Zhao, chief China economist at Nomura in Hong Kong, said there wasn’t any widespread panic about the falling yuan, so he had not expected a surge in demand.

    In recent months, analysts have noted that the yuan was not alone in falling against the dollar, with most other emerging market currencies also suffering, which has helped keep sentiment around the yuan from souring too much.

    Zhao said restrictions on use of foreign exchange limited anyone’s options and so acted as a disincentive anyhow.

    Note to ZeroHedge haters: The Reuters article was brought to my attention by ZeroHedge. While ZH has its faults, it is a lot easier to weed out useless articles from ZH than it is to find useful articles among the storm of news at Reuters.

  2. 2
    SeaTownDweller says:

    RE: justme @ 1RE: justme @ 1
    It is possible that either people believe that Yuan had fallen enough and is poised for an upswing, or that other investment vehicles (cough, Bitcoin, cough) provides a more stable outlook than USD, or that there are easier ways to get money out. If what the article indicates does affect Seattle market, I actually don’t mind a steady growth spurred by job creations, rather than bubble brewed by heavy speculations. Seattle real estate has benefited from strong fundamentals, but is not without its flaws in that insufficient planning of affordable housing is showing. A slower growth will allow for more time on thoughtful planning that is sorely needed.

  3. 3
    Hugh Dominic says:

    Yay! New post!

  4. 4
    Hugh Dominic says:

    So which was better post-crash, real estate or the stock market?

    Let’s see. If you bought Seattle RE at the post-crash 2009 price, you’d be up 35% now. If you sold to take your money out, you’d pay 8% transaction costs, reducing your actual gain to 25%.

    If you put only 20% down, borrowed the rest at 4%, and then sold, you’d net a gain of 100% (on your down payment) thanks to the wonders of 5x leverage. Roughly.

    If you put the money in the NASDAQ, you’d be up 200%. Which is, like, more.

    I guess it depends on how much better the rent yield on the house (less maintenance) is than the dividends from the NASDAQ.

    I don’t have time to figure it out. Anyone want to run the numbers?

  5. 5

    RE: Hugh Dominic @ 3 – Or yet another alternative would be to assume a cash purchase of the house, with it either being rented or lived in for 8 years. If rented you’d need to deduct the taxes on the rent, but I think you could safely ignore the depreciation since it would be recaptured on the sale (the tax rates have been fairly steady). If lived in I would add the owner’s marginal tax rate to the rental value, since that’s what they would have had to earn to pay the rent.

    And in any of your scenarios you’d need to account for real estate taxes and maintenance. Houses have higher carrying costs than stocks.

  6. 6
    Gerhard says:

    Case-Shiller report is two-month-old data when it comes out. History lesson.

  7. 7
    Macro Investor says:

    I wonder if Case Shiller uses pencil and paper + abacus. How can it take 2 months to compare sales? It is all database driven and should take moments.

    My theory is this — the actual report takes a couple of days to compile. They sell the “real time” data to banks and investors. The always sheared sheeple get it 2 months late to preserve the exclusivity of the good data.

    Wall street does a lot of things like this. You can get free stock quotes, but they are 20 minute delayed. Fun to look at, but useless for investing.

  8. 8
    Hugh Dominic says:

    Wake up sheeple!

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