Housing market

Analysis of the (primarily) San Diego housing market.

Case and Shiller Come Through

Submitted by Rich Toscano on November 9, 2007 - 4:13pm

Well, that was a weird coincidence. Less than a week after I wrote about the idea of trying to track different market segments, S&P announced that they will now offer three Case-Shiller indexes for low-, medium-, and high-priced San Diego homes (in addition to the original aggregate index). This will be far better than whatever I would have done because Case and Shiller use same-home sales for their comparisons.

Watch this space for a possibly excessive collection of new charts.

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October Housing Data

Submitted by Rich Toscano on November 7, 2007 - 10:56am

Resale prices, as measured by the size-adjusted median price, were down again last month:

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One City, Two Markets

Submitted by Rich Toscano on November 3, 2007 - 11:35am

Over at voiceofsandiego.org I wrote a bit about the bifurcation of our market, by which I mean the fact that the high-end markets have held up so much better than low-end markets. My idea is to start tracking the price and volume of two representative sets of zip codes: the strong markets and the weak ones. So for instance, I might do a chart of the median price/square foot of homes in the three strongest zip codes (above a certain size, to prevent noise) and of the three weakest. To determine strongest or weakest I would look at pricing and volume, mostly pricing since that's what we're really most interested in.

I thought about separating out things by price range, but that's kind of weird because price is one of the things we will be measuring and changing prices could cause houses to jump categories. By using zips instead, I at least have a more constant set of houses... no house is going to change zip codes regardless of its price movements.

Adam (aka SD Realtor) has already given me some good pointers that I want to look into regarding which zip codes to use, how to handicap them, etc. If anyone else has suggestions please feel free to post them.

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August Case-Shiller HPI

Submitted by Rich Toscano on October 30, 2007 - 10:44am

Hi everyone -- the Case-Shiller data for August was released today. I am very busy this week so I'm going to put up a few graphs with a minimum of commentary.

Here is the nominal HPI decline since the November 2005 peak:

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September Foreclosures

Submitted by Rich Toscano on October 12, 2007 - 11:40am

The rate of NODs and NOTs declined in September from a month prior, but both numbers remain well above their levels of a year ago and for that matter anything we saw during the 1990s.

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September Housing Data

Submitted by Rich Toscano on October 7, 2007 - 9:03pm

Round two of the credit crunch has most definitely made itself known.


The size-adjusted median prices were pretty solidy down, with single family homes showing a 2% decline and condos sporting a 3% decline just from the prior month. From the 2005 peak, the size-adjusted median price was down 11% for single family homes and 15% for condos.

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Real Estate as an Inflation Hedge, or More to the Point, Not

Submitted by Rich Toscano on October 1, 2007 - 10:10am

It's a little OT for this site, but I put up a voiceofsandiego.org piece linking to and expounding on a Union Tribune article about how the CPI understates inflation. Check it out, if you can brave the slight offness of topic.

To bring this here post on topic while sticking with the inflation motif, I'd like to quickly address an argument that I hear a lot. The argument purports that inflation has been and will continue to be worse than is widely acknowledged (so far I'm in agreement), so real estate -- being a tangible asset -- is actually a good investment to hedge inflation risk (oops, you lost me).

There are two problems with this argument. One is that buying tangible assets to protect oneself from inflation is just great as long as one doesn't ridiculously overpay for said tangible assets. What with home prices' continued disparity with rents, incomes, and the like, buying a San Diego home right now would be doing just that.

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July Case-Shiller Home Price for San Diego

Submitted by Rich Toscano on September 25, 2007 - 12:07pm

The latest Case-Shiller Home Price Index number for San Diego are out. As we know, the Case-Shiller HPI -- let's just call it the HPI for short -- arrives with a considerable delay, so today's value only represents home sales closed in July (which themselves represent deals made primarily in June). The world was a different place in June and July, lending-wise, and the HPI will continue not to reflect round 2 of the credit crunch until the September number at the earliest.

Nonetheless, just for kicks let's have a look at what was happening with aggregate resale prices as of July:

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Moody's Forecast: Good Luck with That

Submitted by Rich Toscano on September 19, 2007 - 4:29pm

Thanks to the fantastic folks at Calculated Risk for alerting me to Moody's latest home price forecast.

According to Moody's, the San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos triumvirate is in store for an aggregate home price decline of 10.9% between the peak (which they peg at Q1 2006) to the trough (Q4 2008).

While I'm all for mainstream outfits acknowledging that San Diego prices are going to drop, the particular forecast seems hopelessly optimistic in comparison to what's happened already.

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Sunday Foreclosure Chart Extravaganza

Submitted by Rich Toscano on September 16, 2007 - 5:18pm

It's Sunday and the weather is beautiful, so naturally I took the opportunity to sit at my computer and create some charts. Today's topic: foreclosures.

First up is a chart of the ratio of sales to NODs, most recently discussed here but originally explained here. The idea is that measuring demand against the amount of potential must-sell supply provides a good read on the market's health, or in this case the lack thereof.

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August Housing Data

Submitted by Rich Toscano on September 12, 2007 - 10:52pm

August Housing Data


The size-adjusted median price dropped again for both property types:

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August Defaults and Foreclosures

Submitted by Rich Toscano on September 10, 2007 - 3:19pm

That can't be good:

2,350 NODs and 902 NOTs were filed in August. This compares to just 2,388 MLS sales closed.

I'll put some more default charts up once the DQ numbers come out.

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Submitted by Rich Toscano on August 23, 2007 - 3:20pm

Hello everyone -- Econo-Almanac updates of late have been meager even by my modest standards. So what do I offer upon my return? An in-depth treatise, perhaps? A new and exciting piece of research? Maybe even just a chart?

No, I'm afraid all that I have for you the blogging equivalent to a television show's flashback episode -- the ever-popular list of links. Here we go!

  1. Partner in dim sum consumption crime and occasional Econo-Almanac guest contributor Ramsey Su appeared in the Wall Street Journal to spread his usual joy. Said the WSJ:

    An auction of about 135 foreclosed homes in San Diego Saturday provided more sobering news for mortgage lenders. Ramsey Su, an investor and former real-estate broker who attended, calculated that the high bids for the homes averaged 67% of the prices they fetched when they were last sold, mostly in 2004 or 2005. At a similar auction in San Diego in May, the average was 73%. The auction was held by Real Estate Disposition Corp., Irvine, Calif., which promotes such sales on the www.usahomeauction.com Web site. REDC officials couldn't be reached to comment.
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July Housing Data Roundup

Submitted by Rich Toscano on August 14, 2007 - 9:30am

Well, better late than never... let's have a look at the July housing market data.


The size-adjusted median price was down for both property types, with condos experiencing whackage of 5.2% in July alone.

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Sales and Defaults -- A Logarithmic Look

Submitted by Rich Toscano on July 24, 2007 - 8:45am

OK, by popular demand (well, by the demand of two people, anyway, but sdduuuuude gets special priveleges because he's the one who suggested the site's slogan) here is the prior chart with a logarithmic scale.

Note, first, that Excel's log scale is lame, and only denotes factors of 10 on the chart. So I rebased the HPI to fall between 1 and 10, so that it would at least kind of fit with the price per sales number.

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