Why Case-Shiller Overstates Housing Appreciation in an Improving Market

10% Increase the Last Year?  Not According to Agents According to the latest Case-Shiller Home Price Index (“Case-Shiller”), the U.S. housing market is up about 10% the last year. However, if you ask in-the-trenches Realtors (like me), they’ll tell you the real number is lower — something like up 5%. Who’s right? Put is this way:  it...
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Spike in Number of “Normal” Sales in Twin Cities

As Opposed to “Abnormal” Sales?? In the course of checking MLS for new listings a couple times daily, it sure seems (at least to me) that there’s been an increase in the number of “normal” sales lately. What’s that about? Instead of using “traditional sale” — the accepted term for a sale that isn’t a short sale or...
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“Halftime at the Housing Recovery,” or, Time for RTC II

Lender-Mediated Deals Now Down to 25% of Housing Market Deals Nationally Is the housing market doing better? Absolutely. Has it fully recovered? No way. Or should I say, “half-way.” I base that not just on where home prices are now — off the bottom, but still well below their 2006 peak — but on the fact...
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Knowing When to Follow — and Break — the Rules

Pricing a Home When the Comp’s are Tough “You have to know the rules before you know when you can break them.” Normally, the standard way of doing a CMA (“Comparative Market Analysis”) is to limit your focus to three Comp’s, or “Comparable Sold Properties.” By definition, those are the nearby homes most similar in...
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Housing’s Stealth Statistic

Are “Traditional Sellers” Waiting For Fewer Foreclosures? Want a shorthand for knowing when the housing market has truly turned around? Watch what’s called “the median sale price” — statisticians’ term for the midpoint of a given group. So, the median price of 101 sold homes would be that price which is lower than 50 of...
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Name Games, Cont.

‘Non-Distressed,’ ‘Unforced,’ ‘Optional’ A continuing thread on this blog has been the so-far lurching efforts to label key features of today’s economic landscape (“We Have Some With Ham, Too”) So, while it’s certainly not a household term yet, “The Great Recession” looks increasingly likely to be what we collectively call what’s happened the last two...
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