(March 25, 2008) – The new Case-Shiller home price numbers are out today showing that home prices in January were still dropping like, uh, something real heavy . They are so bad that I had to ask my daughter what to call them. She says uber-butt-ugly is the appropriate term. You can read the full report by clicking here, Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. The Case-Shiller numbers are the best source of price information because they work hard to deal with the price/mix problem by actually matching consecutive sales for specific properties.
Home prices have now fallen by substantially more than in 1991-92. In that episode, triggered by massive RTC sales, commercial property, not residential, was the heart of the problem.
The eye of the hurricane this month is Las Vegas, where prices fell 5.1% in one month, and 19.3% over the last year. Seattle and Portland are saying “what crisis?”
Incredible, even after the recent price drops, real estate has still outperformed the stock market since the mid 1990’s. I think there are going to be huge fortunes made by picking up the (illiquid) pieces after this crisis has passed. I don’t think that is many months away. This is the time to be a shopper, not a seller.