A little tardy with regarding last week’s December 2012 Case Shiller Index but here we go. The Index in Portland dropped .78 of a point in December. Even though that’s more than the .5 it lost in December 2011 and many areas posted positive December 2012 numbers the reason for the title of this post and optimism is that between August and December 2011 the Index lost 3.04 points. In the same period in 2012, it was up 1.23 points. The same five month period in 2010 posted a 10.10 loss! In fact, we have to go all the way back to 2006 to see the previous gain for that period.
This doesn’t mean we are in a full recovery. Many of the markets tracked by Case Shiller showed a positive December. I’ve already talked about how the slow down in foreclosed properties coming to market may be creating some false gains as well. Case Shiller uses match pairs in its data. 123 Main St. doesn’t get reported in Case Shiller until it matches up with a sale of 123 Main St. If it is currently in judicial foreclosure we’re not going to see that property weigh down the Index until it resells as a foreclosure- presumably for less money than its prior sale.
We’ve seen losses in January, February and March the last three years so we should be able to see the cumulative loss for the winter months in May when the March report is released.