February’s Case Shiller Index was released today.  CNN’s headline reads, “Home Prices Lowest Since 2002.” For Portland, home prices sit at July 2004 prices: 129.60 which represents a .36 slide from January’s Case Shiller Index.  Case Shiller reports lag 60 days and are released on the last Tuesday of the month.

Case Shiller FEB 2012

After the Index was set to 100 in January 2000, Portland seemed to lag about a year behind the rest of the country.  The majority of the areas tracked started their rise and hit their peak about a year ahead of Portland.  In recent years though it appears that Portland has fallen in line with the Composite indexes.  The Dallas chart line is interesting as they never saw the highs or lows that the majority of the country experienced.  Flat seems to be the rule for their market: talk about real estate being local!

Trying to compare RMLS Market Action to Case Shiller doesn’t work.  They reports use different areas, methodology and the most up-to-date reports are always a month apart.  RMLS reported the lowest inventory in years when the March report was released a couple of weeks ago which may put some upward pressure on prices.  It’s too hard to tell what factors will have the biggest impact on the market.  Does low market inventory, low interest rates and highest levels of affordability in years trump market jitters, foreclosures, political outcomes and economic concerns or vice versa?