Friday, April 01, 2011

Washington, DC real housing prices

Click the image to see the full-size version. The blue line shows nominal housing prices. The red line shows inflation-adjusted housing prices.


  1. I hope the lines don't rise too much past 2010, otherwise it will spoil a wonderfully rendered reclining nude portrait.

    We must suffer for our art.

  2. The converged lines are explained thusly:

    It is a new paradigm!

  3. Looks like the end of the line is barely sputtering along and about to run out of gas.

  4. Interesting. Let's hope it's sustainable and spreads to other areas, especially down here in Florida.

  5. What part of slowly rising for 2 years straight makes it look like its "run out of gas"?

  6. Did you get enough to eat this weekend, Partisan?

  7. Compare it to the upward line begining around 2000 and you will notice quite a difference. The 200 line is very vertical and the end of the line is much more horizontal.

  8. James, I think we should have a survey of when DC area home prices will return to pre-bubble levels.

  9. Where are you Partisan? Here is the breakdown of the latest Case-Shiller DC home prices. The Month to Month stat supports a "sputtering" conclusion. Prices are at the 2004 level. They will be heading to the 2003 level for a true bottom.

    January 2011
    Month to Month: Up 0.1%
    Year to Year: Up 3.6%
    Prices at this level in: May 2004
    Peak month: May 2006
    Change from Peak: Down 26.8% in 56 months
    Low Tier: Under $286,500
    Mid Tier: $286,500 to $457,706
    Hi Tier: Over $457,706

  10. I agree its nothing compared to the 2000 line, but the 2000 line wasnt normal either. From 2000 til mid late 2003, prices were rising 12-15% YOY. Clearly, that pace is not sustainable.

  11. "Saxon said...The Month to Month stat supports a "sputtering" conclusion."

    No it doesnt. Prices exhibit seasonality meaning they normally drop month over month (MOM) in the wintertime. Take a look at the chart here.

    As you can see, in recent years, prices went negative every winter (or went "severely" negative during the bubble years). Thus a MOM drop this time of year is normal and expected. Worse for you, that +0.1% you champion as "sputtering" is actually much better than last January (-0.78% MOM) or Jan 2009 (-2.04% MOM). In fact, this January was the strongest one pricewise since 2006.

    Second, take a look at the 3rd column which is year over year (YOY) change. Notice how the rate of price growth slowed from +7.73% YOY in May 2010 to +2.65% YOY in Nov 2010. For a while there, it looked like (and I expected) YOY prices to go negative around this time. Instead, (thanks largely to that fantastic +0.1% MOM boost in Jan) the rate price growth has increased, now going up at +3.58% YOY. In any event, nothing from this most recent January report supports your "sputtering" conclusion.

    Saxon said...Prices are at the 2004 level. They will be heading to the 2003 level for a true bottom.

    FYI, prices DID get down to 2003 levels when they bottomed in March 2009. Of course, at the time this blog was convinced it was "only the 3rd inning" so its no surprise most here missed it.

  12. No. Being morbidly obese, I never do. Plus I crapped the bed because I am too heavy to get to the bathroom in time.

  13. Partisan,

    How could the immune DC area have dropped to values from 7

    years ago? When will prices return to 2006 pre-pop levels?

  14. "Saxon said...How could the immune DC area have dropped to values from 7 years ago."

    Excuse me, but who in the hell said that DC was "immune"? In case you missed it, let me state again for the record: DC WAS A HUGE FREAKIN BUBBLE!!!

    The whole reason I am here today is because I was once a bear like you pointing out the sky high (and falling) Case Shiller values. Back in 07, I used to come here and regularly insult Lance and the other permabulls for stupid rationales like "everyone wants to live here" and similar nonsense.

    In fact, I would go so far as to say the main difference between me and you is that I recognized the bottoming process in early 2009 and (apparently) you did not.

    "Saxon said...When will prices return to 2006 pre-pop levels?"

    Well lets see. If prices continue to go up at their current clip, it will take another 9 years to hit a new peak. Personally, I think thats a little agressive, so I am going to say 12 years on average (with the least hit areas hitting peak earlier, and the hardest hit areas taking longer to hit peak).

  15. So that we are clear, partisan, are you willing to go on record and state that you bought a place in 2009?

  16. Early 2010 actually. But yeah, I bought.

    So regarding your comment about the CS month to month indicating a "sputtering" market - nothing more to say? Yeah, I thought so...

    Look, you may be right one day. There may be some data coming out that supports a sputtering conclusion, but clearly last months CS print was not that. Next time, make sure you have a better handle on the data before you make such a ridiculous assertion.

  17. Partisan, one more thing, I don't care what you think. I just like winding your little brain up and reading the your posts. It's so obvious you a person of limited wealth.

  18. "I don't care what you think."

    Nor I you. I do know you care enough to respond so thats all I need. Plus I too enjoy the chainjerking back and forth. Seems like we were made for each other. In that regard, nice job on the "immunity" canard...that one really irked me.

    Oh, and thanks for the personal dig. I will add that to my multitude of shortcomings (obesity, mommy issues, etc.) these do make me laugh.

    Best issue of all however, is I was right and you were wrong. I knew as soon as you made that argument you were dead in the water, so it was fun to watch you flop around for a bit. Next time, choose a more defensible argument and you wont have to go through that.

  19. Partisan, you are a man of limited wealth. You blog on here celebrating a home purchase as if you were the only one to buy a home near bottom prices. You are my bitch! But most of all your existence is pathetic. You obviously suffer from a complex problem due to your limited wealth. Your budget must be really tight.

  20. "You are my bitch! But most of all your existence is pathetic. You obviously suffer from a complex problem due to your limited wealth."

    So noted Saxon. If it makes you feel better, then rage, really RAGE against me and my multitude of shortcomings.

    Just remember, when it came to the actual substance of this thread - the Case Shiller monthly data - you were wrong, and no amount of insults hurled my way will change that fact.

    Have a nice day!!!

  21. Partisan, you are a man of limited wealth.

  22. Saxon - I couldnt help but notice, your most recent post was merely a restatement of what you said before. Seems kinda pointless IMO. Was this a mistake?

    It could be you are the type of person who feels compelled to have the "last word" in a debate, as if your opponent melted away in the face of withering criticism.

    If so, be my guest. I will not respond again and allow you to blast away at my many foibles so history will record you as the victor of this debate on Jan 2011 CS numbers.

    Have fun!

  23. Well, this furlough supports my bearish housing market forecast--this could only increase nervousness on the part of potential buyers...

  24. Yep - It certainly doesnt help the market does it? I do take some solace in that during the 1996 shutdown, records indicate prices didnt go down in the slightest, but again, this is clearly not a confidence builder.

  25. It was nice to meet you. You are indeed overweight.

  26. From 1990 to 2009, housing grew barely 4% annually for nominal housing prices. From what I've read, DC home prices have historically risen 7% annually. It is interesting that from 1990 to 1999 there was no price escalation though the economy was doing well.

  27. The one that occurred in the same universe where housing increases 7% a year in perpetuity.

  28. My name is Emily and I work for a rental real estate company in Washington DC called Urban Igloo. If anyone decides to start renting their place instead of trying to sell feel free to give me a call and I can explain how we can help rent your place fast.

    We have a ton of tenants currently and need more properties in our data base.

    The office # is 202-955-3770 or you can email me at

  29. Jac, I wonder if this is the same universe where you continue to try to deny that the inflation-adjusted median value for DC homes in 1989 was around $280,000, and in 2011 it is $340,000.

  30. Comment: in 1989 I was really into U2's Rattle & Hum; in 2011 I'm really into Arcade Fire's The Suburbs. (I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I don't know what you're trying to get out of me.)